What is Men's Health Week?
Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself. During 2018, it will run from Monday, June 11th until Sunday, June 17th.
Celebrated in most European countries, as well as in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a number of other places worldwide, the overall aims of the week are to:
Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages
Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices/activities
Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
Each year, there is also a focus upon a specific theme and this year, the theme for the island of Ireland is: 'One Small Step for Man. One Giant Leap for Men’s Health’ and the key question being asked of everyone is: 'what’s your small step going to be?'
To find out more about #MensHealthWeek click here.
Why do we need to focus upon men's health issues and needs?
Males constitute almost 50% of the population on the island of Ireland and, therefore, deserve to have a gender lens focused upon their specific health needs. Research shows that these men experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young.
- Local men die, on average, four and a half years younger than women do
- Males have higher death rates than women for all of the leading causes of death
- Poor lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases
- Late presentation to health services leads to a large number of problems becoming untreatable
Indeed, while many of these conditions are preventable, their prevalence amongst men may, in fact, rise in the future. However, this is not a lost cause. Much can be/is being done to improve this situation.
During Men's Health Week, people in Ireland are being encouraged to work together to do at least one small practical thing to improve their own health and the health of men across the island. Men’s health is not just an issue for individual men.
While it is crucial for men to take responsibility for looking after themselves, their health can often be determined by other factors outside of their personal control. Thus, there is also a need for policy-makers, service providers, and society as a whole to recognise the role that they need to play, and to do something practical about it.
Who can be involved in Men's Health Week?
MHW gives everyone (health professionals, service providers, youth groups, sporting bodies, community organisations, employers, Churches, policy makers, family workers, pharmacists, the media, parents, individuals) an opportunity to encourage men and boys to take better care of their health and to seek help or treatment at an early stage.
Men's Health Week is brought to you by the Men's Health Forum in Ireland and is supported by Healthy Ireland, the HSE and the HSC Public Health Agency.