What is Men's Health Week?
International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself. During 2017, it will run from Monday 12th until Sunday 18th June.
It is 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 MHW 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. During 2017, the theme for the island of Ireland is: ‘It’s all about HIM’, and the key question is: ‘How are you doing?’
Read more about Men's Health Week here. #MHW2017
Why talk about men's mental health?
Sometimes, men find it difficult to admit when they are struggling. Turning to a friend and sharing how they are feeling, can seem impossible. Men often self-stigmatise and many are embarrassed to admit to themselves, or others, that they have a mental health problem.
Traditionally, men can be viewed as the fixers and problem solvers, projecting an image of strength or independence. Men feel and benefit hugely from talking about their feelings. However, they are not naturally inclined to discuss their emotions, in particular because of the social environments they are usually in.
What some men say:
"Talking about my feeling seems weak"
"I feel awkward starting a conversation about how I’m feeling"
"My mates just wouldn't want to hear about it..."
"Wearing my heart on my sleeve, just feels too uncomfortable"
It is widely acknowledged that the more men adhere to traditional norms of masculinity, the less likely they are to have a positive attitude toward seeking some help or support. For example, men often don’t display the traditional symptoms of depression (sleepless nights, crying, feeling low) and are more likely to ‘act out’ (taking drugs, drinking, being aggressive) which means their problems can be overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Helpful information for men
How can I support Men's Health Week?
Men's Health Week gives everyone (health professionals, service providers, sporting bodies, community groups, employers, policy makers, the media, churches, 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.
Visit the Men's Health Week 2017 page for more information on the campaign and how you can get involved. You will find information, downloads, social media resources and publicity material in relation to the 2017 theme: ‘It’s all about HIM... how are you doing?’.
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.