The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Fair Health for Men

by Jim Clayton, Quill Reporter

The older a man is the more likely he is to have heard statements like, "Real men don't cry," or "He is the strong silent type," and even when an unexpected injury occurs, "Just rub a little dirt in it."

These may seem humorous and fun, but they may be steeped in traditions that are not healthy.

This type of attitude is part of what was discussed at the first annual Hancock County Men's Health Fair, which was hosted last Saturday at the La Harpe Christian Church.

There were several speakers, door prizes and many booths set up by various medical and mental health organizations from in and around Hancock County.

Pastor Darren Beachy was very pleased with the event, "The Hancock County Families Coalition did a bang up job putting this together. Deb Pflasterer was really the one who put all of this together, we hosted and served breakfast, but she lined up all the speakers and was responsible for bringing all the vendors and other organizations together," said Beachy.

The first topic covered was Prostate Health. A very sensitive topic handled very delicately by Dr. Brian Lindaman, a urologist out of Burlington, IA.

Lindaman stressed the importance of men over 40 and especially those over 50 to get regular prostate exams, especially if there are symptoms of irregularities.

He stressed the fact that the treatment and examinations involving the prostrate have made many advances and are not the primitive forms of medical science that many men fear.

His slide presentation was mixed with some humor and, as a result he was able to make the point that it is critical to have regular check-ups and when done early could conceivably add 10 to 15 years to a man's life.

Presenter number two was Nik Kuster, an intern for the Hancock County Mental Health Association. He focused his attentions on the topic of Depression. He went through a list of famous American males who had suffered from depression or other related disorders; President Abraham Lincoln, 60 Minutes news correspondent Mike Wallace and even former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw who led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowls all have dealt with this malady.

Kuster said that 5 to 12% of men are at risk to suffer or are suffering from some type of depression here in the United States.

He pointed out many of the signs and symptoms that we have all seen on TV, loss of motivation, feelings of helplessness, irritability, and even thoughts of or attempted suicide.

He pointed out that there are two main causes of depression, one biological and the other psychological.

And to finish off the event Ron Peterson, president of First State Bank, covered Wills, Estates and Trusts and how important they are and gave tips on setting them up.

Not a medical or mental health issue, but a very important one that men need to consider when thinking about the future and realizing that there may, in fact, be a time that their families will be without them and they should do all they can now to insure they are provided for in the event of an untimely accident, illness or simply as basic preparation which is necessary as men age.

Pflasterer said, "This was a very successful event and we are looking forward to doing this again next year.

Our committee met this morning and we are leaning toward the first Saturday in March next year.

And we had very positive feedback from all the vendors, and without them we could not do this event."

The theme for this year's fair was, "Git "r' Done", a quote made famous by comedian Larry the Cable Guy and, in light of the topics discussed, exactly what the men of Hancock County ought to be doing.