International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.Â During 2023, it ran from Monday 12th until Sunday 18th June.
It is celebrated in many European countries, as well as in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a number of other places worldwide.Â 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.
But why is there a need to hold a Men's Health Week? ...Â 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.Â Research clearly hows that these men experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young ...
- -Â Local men die younger than women do.
- -Â Males have higher death rates than females for almost all of the leading causes of death and at all ages.
- -Â Menâ€™s poorer lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases.
- -Â Late presentation to health services can lead 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.Â
During 2023, the MHW theme for Ireland was 'The Picture of Health' and the call to men (and those who support the health of men) was what does that look like to you?
All too often we set ourselves unrealistic or impractical targets.Â However, this year, everyone was asked to set themselves a simple goal(s) to improve the health of men, and to go for it!
Menâ€™s health on the island of Ireland is unnecessarily poor, but it is not a lost cause.Â There are many free, simple and practical things that can be done to improve it.Â But what are these?
To support Menâ€™s Health Week in 2022, a team of students (Evan Rawl, Hang Thai, Ewa Leszczewicz, Ben Oâ€™Quigley, Darragh Smith and Evan Williams) from the Game Design Degree Course in Technological University Dublin developed a â€˜Serious Gameâ€™ - focusing on male health - that men and boys can play online.Â Everyone was offered another chance to play it again this year.
In this retro-style arcade game, the player is invited to take on the character of â€˜Agent Mannâ€™ - a spy who is given the mission of tracking down and securing a series of dossiers containing high level â€˜Intelâ€™ on how to improve menâ€™s health.
To succeed in his quest, Agent Mann has to navigate through various settings to locate and collect all of the dossiers.Â Along the way, he has to learn how to move around in his environment and to use some of the gadgets available to him.Â But of course, danger is never far away, and his path is blocked by the henchmen of his nemesis [Mr Oâ€™Bese] who try to prevent him from uncovering this vital information.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to â€¦
1. Take on the role of Agent Mann.
2. Find and secure all of the seven dossiers.
3. Memorise whatâ€™s in them.
4. Use this information to improve the health of men both now and in the future.
The action starts with you!
NB: This game is best played on a desktop or laptop computer.Â Most mobile phones cannot run it.Â As it was developed within a very short time-scale, there are also some small glitches.Â Simply ignore these, play away and enjoy the experience!Â
HEAR about Men's Health Week 2023
Would you prefer to HEAR about Men's Health Week 2023 - and the need to focus upon men's health - rather than have to READ about it? ...Â If so, click on the play button below to listen to Finian Murray (HSE Senior Health Promotion and Improvement Officer) and Anne Farrell (CIE Health Promotion Executive) speaking to Eamon Keogh from HSE Health and Wellbeing about the week:
Why focus upon men's health?
Not too long ago, we were unaware of the full extent of menâ€™s poor health status and the specific health issues that they must deal with.Â However, this is no longer the case.Â In recent years, a broad range of research has highlighted the health challenges which face men in Ireland and further afield.Â For example ...
Menâ€™s Health in Numbers: Trends Report (PDF, 10.7MB)
Irish Men's Health Report Card (PDF, 1.7MB)
Northern Ireland Men's Health Report Card (PDF, 1.9MB)
Getting Inside Menâ€™s HealthÂ (PDF, 1.5MB)
A Report on the all-Ireland Young Men and Suicide ProjectÂ (PDF, 2.73MB)
The State of Menâ€™s Health in Europe (PDF, 3.63MB)
Middle-Aged Men and Suicide in Ireland (PDF, 4.49MB) ...
Although the health of men in Ireland is poor, it can be improved in many significant ways.Â A wide range of innovative and positive work has already taken place to support the health needs of men and boys: Ireland was the first country in the world to have a National Menâ€™s Health Policy which was succeeded by the Healthy Ireland - Men Action Plan (itself, currently being updated); the â€˜Engageâ€™ Menâ€™s Health Training Programme has influenced how services and structures support males; pioneering approaches have been developed and tested which provide models for improving menâ€™s health; new menâ€™s health / support groups are evolving across the island of Ireland ...Â Much has been achieved, but there is still room for improvement.
Of course, men, themselves, need to play a central role in taking control of their health and wellbeing.Â But menâ€™s health is not just an issue for individual men.Â 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.Â 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.Â This will require everyone to focus attention upon the men and boys around us.
Itâ€™s very common to hear people on the island of Ireland saying: â€˜ah, sure, your manâ€™s the picture of healthâ€™ .Â During Men's Health Week 2023, everyone was asked to think about what their â€˜picture of healthâ€™ might look like?Â More importantly, everyone was also asked to set themselves simple, realistic and practical tasks to make this a reality.
Who can be involved in this week?
Men's Health Week (MHW) gives everyone (health professionals, service providers, youth groups, sporting bodies, community organisations, employers, Churches, policy makers, family workers, pharmacists, academics, 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.
Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2023
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2023 in Ireland was planned by a broad range of partners who contributed to an inter-agency all-island Planning Group.Â This body began meeting in December 2022, and had ongoing communication until the week ended.
The theme for this yearâ€™s MHW (i.e.Â 'The Picture of Health') offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate (via video conferencing, face-to-face meetings and electronic communication), and the planning process drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...
- Action Cancer
- Age NI
- Alcohol Action Ireland
- Alienated Children First
- ARK (Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster)
- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
- Arthritis Ireland
- Aware NI
- Beacon of Light
- Beechmount Sure Start
- Belfast City Council - Health Development Unit
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
- Belfast Men's Health Group
- BHSCT Carers Support
- Bus Ã‰ireann
- Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
- Carers Support Service, SEHSCT
- CIE - Staff Health Promotion
- Clanrye Group
- Community Sports Network
- Cork City Council
- County Down Rural Community Network
- Derry Youth and Community Workshop
- Donegal Education and Training Board
- Dr Mark Rowe
- Dublin City University School of Nursing
- Dublin Fire Brigade
- Dudes and Dogs
- Education Authority for Northern Ireland
- Exchange House
- Focus: The Identity Trust
- Football Association of Ireland (FAI)
- Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
- Gay Project
- Get Ireland Walking
- Green Ribbon Campaign
- HeadsUp Kildare
- Health Service Executive - Health and Wellbeing
- Home-Start NI
- HSE National Cancer Control Programme
- INFANT Centre - University College Cork
- Institute of Public Health in Ireland
- Irish Cancer Society
- Irish Football Association (IFA)
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Menâ€™s Sheds Association
- Irish Pharmacy Union
- Irish Rail
- Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU)
- James Dean Coaching
- Jumpers for Goalposts
- Letterkenny Youth and Family Service
- LGBT Ireland
- Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
- Loughrea Training Centre
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Menâ€™s Action Network (MAN)
- Men's Advisory Project (MAP)
- Men's Aid Ireland
- Men's Alliance NI
- Menâ€™s Development Network (MDN)
- Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI)
- Men's Health West
- Mental Health Ireland
- Mid-Ulster Council
- Migraine Association of Ireland
- National Cancer Control Programme
- National Centre for Men's Health
- National Screening Service
- National Youth Council of Ireland
- Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
- North Belfast Men's Shed
- North Down Community Network
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke
- NUI Galway School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Parenting NI
- parkrun Ireland
- Patient Client Council
- Pavee Point Traveller Menâ€™s Health
- Queen's University Belfast School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- Samaritans Ireland
- See Change
- Shoot Positive - Carrie Davenport Photography
- SISK Building Contractors
- South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
- South East Technological University
- Southern Area Men's Health Group
- Southern Health & Social Care Trust
- South West College
- Sport Ireland
- Start 360
- Sure Start South Armagh
- Technological University Dublin
- The Respect Project
- Toghermore Training Centre
- Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI)
- Union of Students in Ireland
- University College Cork
- University College Dublin
- Waterford Sports Partnership
- Western Health & Social Care Trust
- WHSCT Recovery College
- YouthAction NI - Work with Young Men Unit
- Plus an additional range of individual counsellors, therapists and activists ...
To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2023, a bespoke poster was designed, using a unique hand-drawn illustration.
Posters were available as both A3 and A4 hard copies, and as online electronic files (in a range of sizes and formats suitable for a variety of uses).
Every year since 2014, there has been a Men's Health Week (MHW) postcard to publicise the week.Â Traditionally, these cards can be displayedÂ as small flyers in public spaces, and are often sent by organisations to the men that they have contact with.Â Â This has proved to be a very successful means of letting local men know about the week.
Some groups have also used them as 'pledge cards' e.g. this year, some men wrote on the card what their 'picture of health' might look like.Â Later on, they kept this beside their desk, on their work bench, attached to their dashboard etc. to remind them of what they want to do and hope to achieve.
The front of the postcard had a similar design to the MHW poster, and the back had a pre-written message which said:
Itâ€™s very common to hear people on the island of Ireland saying: â€˜ah, sure, your manâ€™s the picture of healthâ€™.
But did you know that during Men's Health Week 2023, everyone is being asked to think about what their â€˜picture of healthâ€™ might look like?Â More importantly, everyone is also being asked to set themselves simple, realistic and practical tasks to make this a reality.
If you're up for it, have a look at the new â€˜ACTION MANâ€™ booklet - for ten top tips on how to improve your health.Â You can view it online at: https://www.mhfi.org/ActionMan2023.pdf
Have a great week!
This year, the postcards were available in both hard copy and as online electronic files.Â For the electronic download version, see: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html#Postcard2023
One of the key aims for Men's Health Week (MHW) each year is to let as many people as possible know when it is happening.Â To do this, there needs to be a common set of promotional tools.Â These were made available for free downloading at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html
This page offered generic MHW images, new resources created specifically for MHW 2023, as well as the ones used in previous years.Â There was a ...
- MHW logo
- Facebook Cover Photo
- Twitter Header Image
- Social Media Image Pack
- Main illustration for the week
These graphics came in a range of sizes and formats, and groups and individuals were invited to use any or all of these images to promote MHW in any way they could.
Research clearly shows that there are many challenges to be faced when seeking to improve menâ€™s health.Â However, it also highlights that menâ€™s health can be improved in many significant ways - if the right choices are made.Â Men, themselves, have a key role to play in this process.
While some aspects of our health are determined by things which are beyond our control (such as genetics, our income, the environment that we live in and our access to services), there are also simple, practical and realistic things which we can all do to improve our health and live a longer life.Â None of these are rocket science, and many are just plain old straightforward common sense.Â Â Â
During previous Menâ€™s Health Weeks, the Men's Health Forum in Ireland produced a â€˜Challenges and Choicesâ€™ Man Manual, which was distributed free-of-charge to males throughout the whole island of Ireland.Â This publication has now been replaced by a new 'Action Man - ten top tips to improve men's health' booklet.
This booklet doesn't preach or lecture - it simply explains: (i) WHY an action is needed; (ii) WHAT can be done about it; and (iii) HOW to find support if you need it.Â Thus, the ten top tips put you into the driving seat, and give you the tools and DIY instructions to make positive changes - if you choose to be your own â€˜Action Manâ€™.
During MHW 2023, this booklet was made available in both hard copy and in electronic format.Â A copy of the online version can be downloaded by clicking here.
Â Â Â Â Â
Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2023 by checking out the MHW Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MensHealthWeek) and Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL).Â Viewers were encouraged to send these links to all their friends.
People who are into social media, were also asked to Tweet about MHW using the hashtags #MensHealthWeek and #ThePictureOfHealth
There was even a raft of social media images that they could use.
Everyone canÂ do something to support and celebrate Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) each year.
The focus for MHW 2023 (i.e. â€˜The Picture of Healthâ€™) lent itself to a wide range of ways to mark this occasion.Â However, there was no need toÂ stick rigidly to this particular theme.Â Anything which promoted the week and encouraged men and boys to lead healthier lifestyles, to be more aware of preventable health problems, and to seek early detection and treatment for health difficulties was very welcome!
Some people had the time, energy, resources and skill to plan something elaborate.Â However, even if this was not possible, there were still many simple, free and easy ways to get involved / show support - such as putting-up the poster in public spaces, giving out copies of the postcard to men, social media posting, directing men to the new Man Manual, using the MHW graphics ...
For practical ideas and inspiration, everyone was invited to check out: 'What Can I Do To Mark This Week?'
Raise the profile of Men's Health Week 2023 - Get Tweeting / Posting!
Menâ€™s health issues and needs are numerous and complicated.Â So much so, that we could probably assign a different one to highlight on each day of the year and still have an outstanding pool of ones to explore!Â However, when preparing for Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2023, the all-island Planning Group felt that it would be useful to draw attention to a specific theme on each day during the week, as well as announce the final countdown to MHW during the week before.
The focus for each day was ...
- Friday 9th June:Â What's your 'Picture of Health'? - be the man you want to be
- Monday 12th June:Â Trash the ash
- Tuesday 13th June:Â Prevention is better than cure
- Wednesday 14th June:Â Food for thought
- Thursday 15th June:Â Rethink what you drink - what do you depend on?
- Friday 16th June:Â Mental fitness
- Saturday 17th June:Â Letâ€™s get physical - be more than a sports spectator
- Sunday 18th June:Â Father's Day - the important role that fathers play in their children's lives
Social media (especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) has become a powerful tool for organisations to spread their message.Â During Menâ€™s Health Week 2023, everyone was encouraged to â€˜Postâ€™ and â€˜Tweetâ€™ about it and, when possible, to use the hashtags: #MensHealthWeek and #ThePictureOfHealth
To support this, a range of social media graphics related to the daily themes were also available.
For those people who would like to support MHW 2023 using their own social media channels - but who didn't have the time, energy or knowledge to develop their own messages - there was also a ready-made pool of Posts and Tweets that they could simply cut-and-paste from. Â Click here to download these suggestions.
Even loading a few things to websites / Facebook pages / Twitter feeds / Instagram / other social media platforms made a huge difference to publicising the week.Â This was, therefore, an easy and free way to show support for MHW.
Tell others about your Menâ€™s Health Week 2023 Activities
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) always seeksÂ to promote the details of activities / happenings / events that are being held throughout Ireland during Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW).Â It is hoped that this will help everyone to find out what is happening during the week, where it will be takingÂ place, and how - if possible - to join in.Â It also gives some recognition and publicity to all those groups across the island that are doing something for and with men.
These activities might include health checks, conferences, launches, games, seminars, competitions, workshops, courses, displays, health fairs, workplace mail-outs ...Â Whatever the activity, everyone was encouraged to submit their details.Â
There were two ways to let us know about what was happening during 2023:
- Submit the details using the online form or
- Download and save a copy of the MS Word Registration Form, type in the details, and email it back to us.
This year, four people very kindly volunteered to be 'Ambassadors' for, and the public face of, Men's Health Week on the island of Ireland.Â They were ...
- David Gillick - record breaking 400m runner, author, celebrity MasterChef winner, and mental health advocate
- Eoin Kernan - star of the 'Unspoken' documentary about men and eating disorders
- Gary (Spike) O'Sullivan - middleweight boxing legend
- Mark Rowe - medical doctor, author on health, and wellbeing champion