DVIDS – News – BJACH talks Men’s Health – Part 2: Capt. Scott Saucer
FORT POLK, Louisiana — June is Men’s Health Month, and the Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital public affairs officer discussed men’s health with providers and healthcare professionals at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Capt. Scott Saucer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at BJACH Embedded Behavioral Health Clinic. Saucer discusses his personal and professional views on the topic and why it’s important to highlight the issue in June and throughout the year.
Question: Captain Saucer, why is it so important to talk about men’s health?
Answer: It is important to talk about health in general. However, most scientific publications state that women are more likely to see a doctor than men. This is often attributed to the social stigmas attached to many men’s health issues. Therefore, it is very important to discuss men’s health to raise awareness and provide resources (especially which provider to see for a particular or specific health issue).
Question: What do you personally do to stay healthy?
Answer: The most important thing I do is eat right. Diet is the most important thing you can do to stay healthy. Think of your body like your vehicle. If you put bad fuel in your car, it will not work well. The same goes for your body. A healthy diet gives us the fuel we need to be healthy. I also lift free weights and participate in all forms of cardiovascular exercise (running, rowing and stair climbing).
Question: As a Social Worker at EBH Clinic, how does mental health and well-being affect overall physical health?
Answer: Mental health has a significant impact on overall physical health. Many of our patients, both male and female, who report depression and/or anxiety also report significant decreases in physical activity and increases in alcohol consumption. Decreased activity coupled with increased alcohol consumption often has a negative impact on your overall physical health.
Question: In your encounters with your patients, what physical effects do you see in men caused by their mental health?
Answer: The most common effect I personally hear from patients is a reported reduction in sleep or increased sleep disturbances. Sleep disorders alone have a significant impact on overall health. Erectile dysfunction, weight gain, and elevated blood pressure are the other reported physical problems most commonly reported by patients when asked how their mental health is currently or has affected them in the past.
Question: Why is a man’s mental health as important as his physical health?
Answer: Put simply, the mind controls the body. It is very rare for someone (male or female) who reports good mental health to report poor physical health.
Questions: What are the things soldiers deal with on a regular basis that can negatively impact their mental health, and what are some healthy things they can do to deal with them?
Answer: Most of the reported problems in our clinic are related to stress at work (problems with their leadership, perceived unfair practices, long working hours and lack of information flow from their department management); Stress stemming from their home or personal life and increased alcohol consumption. I always ask every soldier what he does in his free time. I specifically ask about hobbies or interests outside of work. If patients report that they are currently participating in off-duty activities, I always encourage them to continue doing so. If not, I strongly encourage them to start participating in these activities and often spend time with each patient simply focusing on what activities interest them and how they can participate, both after work and outside of work. “
Question: If a man has physical health problems of unknown origin, could this be a manifestation of problems related to mental health?
Answer: Absolutely. Stress, anxiety, and depression have been shown to cause stomach and digestive problems, cardiovascular problems, sleep problems, and headaches, to name a few. Patients who typically do not currently or have a history of any of the above physical conditions will often report these problems during times of increased stress, anxiety or depression.
Question: How are your services important resources for men looking to improve their overall health and well-being?
Answer: Mental health is health. Period. One-on-one sessions provide patients with an objective, unbiased visualization of their issues and opportunities to reduce and alleviate the impact of reported mental health issues. Caucasian men are at higher risk of suicide, according to data published by the American Psychiatric Association and other government agencies related to physical and mental health. However, race and gender are only a small part of the demographic factors that lead to suicide. Financial, legal, marital, physical health and the lack of a local social support system play a much larger role in leading people to suicide. Being able to help patients mitigate stressors in the above areas can drastically reduce their depression, stress, and anxiety. A good example of this statement is the COVID-19 pandemic. Mental health problems increased at this time, particularly prompted by isolation from primary support, financial problems, and physical health. The pandemic did not discriminate against who it affected. Accessing care has been a challenge, but as telemedicine has become available to more people, many of the above issues have been alleviated through one-to-one sessions.
Editor’s Note: This is part two of a five-part series broadcast every Wednesday in June for Men’s Health Awareness Month at https://bayne-jones.tricare.mil and on the Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital Facebook page is published.
|Date of recording:||06.07.2022|
|Release Date:||07/06/2022 14:54|
|Location:||FORT POLK, LA, USA|
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