SaferCare Texas

National Men’s Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is the week in June leading up to Father’s Day. This week is all about bringing awareness to preventable health issues for men and boys.

SaferCare Texas's Director John Sims speak to his experience with men's health.

When men ignore symptoms and suppress emotions, they risk early death or poor quality of life. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, accounting for 25% of all male deaths. On average, men die five years sooner than women, and three out of four men avoid seeking medical attention when unknown symptoms present. Societal pressures to suppress feelings lead to undiagnosed depression and unhealthy coping strategies such as alcoholism, drug abuse, or violent behaviors.

A man lost consciousness at a recent senior event and ultimately lost his pulse, requiring cardio-pulmonary resuscitation(CPR) and evaluation at a hospital. Prior to his cardiac arrest, the man proposed to go home instead. He likely would have died! Another man in his early 50s rationalized his abnormal heart symptoms away. Fortunately, two medically trained family members convinced him present to the nearest emergency room for evaluation. He required quintuple(5) bypass surgery and an 18-day hospital stay. He, too, may have died! SaferCare Texas interviewed this man on their #SpeakUpForSaferCare podcast. Listen here.

Male harm is self-inflicted by avoiding to seek medical attention and concealing their feelings. Much of this harm is preventable. If you are a man or you live with a man, consider the following two steps:

1. Recognize Symptoms

Heart Disease

Chest pain/discomfort

Upper back/neck pain


Extreme fatigue


Shortness of breath


Escapist behavior- spending a lot of time at work

Headaches/digestive problems

Alcohol/drug use

Controlling/abusive behavior

Inappropriate anger

Risky behavior

2. Reduce Your Risk

Heart Disease

Check your blood pressure: Talk with your healthcare provider

Diabetes raises your risk – get tested

Cut out smoking

Check your cholesterol/triglyceride levels: Talk with your healthcare provider

Limit alcohol

Reduce stress

Heart Disease

Set realistic goals/expectations

Emotional support: Seek out support from friends and family

Coping: Manage stress with meditation and mindfulness

Decisions: Avoid making important decisions until depression resolves

Activities: Intentionally engage in activities where you find joy.

Health: Promote better mental health with healthy eating and physical exercise

Men are essential members of society and families. Men’s bodies and emotions are similar to women’s. Recognize and reduce; follow these two steps to maintain longer and healthier lives!

About SaferCare Texas

SaferCare Texas was founded as a response to the national challenge to improve patient safety. We work to eliminate preventable harm through advocacy, education, innovation, and service in Texas and throughout the nation. SaferCare Texas is a department within HSC at Fort Worth.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Why Mental Health Matters

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which brings awareness to mental health issues that we all face. During this month, it is important to take stock of our mental health as well as study up on how to combat the everyday stresses.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It can affect how we think feel, and act. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.

David Farmer, Clinical Executive at SaferCare Texas, gives his expert advice and experience of mental health.

I recently completed my annual physical with my Primary Care provider and was reminded of the significance of assessing emotional and mental health as an important aspect of my overall self-care. I have a chronic medical condition that is managed well, but I sometimes forget the connection between my physical health and my emotional and mental well-being. The National Institute of Mental Health reminds us that people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk of experiencing a mental health condition. Having a mental health condition can also put you at higher risk for experiencing other medical conditions. We are finding that treating the mental health condition and chronic illness together can actually help better manage both conditions. 

Recognizing the connection between the two in our overall well-being has changed the way we approach them.  There is now a greater focus on collaborative health care models that integrate mental health and physical health as part of our overall health care and well-being. Some Primary Care practices are integrating mental health care providers into their provider teams, to allow patients to address mental health conditions within the Primary Care setting they are familiar with. So, don’t be surprised if your Primary Care provider is asking about depression, anxiety and stress or other mental health conditions in your life. Be open and honest and if the topic isn’t raised, bring it up yourself. It’s vital that we care for the whole person, our mental health is important to our overall well-being.

What Are The Most Common Mental Health Conditions?

How can you combat mental health issues?

  • Depression
  • Panic Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Maintain a health diet
  • Drink lots of water
  • Talk to a friend or family member
  • Talk to your doctor