This year, Men's Health Week (MHW) ran from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th June 2012.
Each year, there is a focus upon a specific theme.Â During 2012, the focus in Ireland was upon encouraging men and boys to develop a 'First Instinct' which is to seek help and support in times of difficulty or trouble.
There is certainly a need for this, as men, on the island of Ireland, experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young ...
- Local men die, on average, almost five 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 among men may, in fact, rise in the future.
- 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, individual countries focus upon a specific theme.Â The theme for 2012 in Ireland was: "Menâs Health - Whatâs Your First Instinct ... Fight? Flight? Find Out?"
Human beings start out life with a pre-disposition for self-preservation.Â This âfirst instinctâ drives them to eat, keep fit, be active, ensure personal safety, look after themselves, work collectively, tend to injuries etc.
However, over time - especially in Western societies - it is easy to become complacent, lazy, individualistic, neglectful, indulgent, isolated, lonely ...Â and, consequently, for health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to suffer.
This yearâs MHW focused upon encouraging and developing a âFirst Instinctâ in males which is to actively seek help, advice, support, and to act quickly in times of difficulty / crisis / ill health rather than ignoring symptoms, turning to alcohol, âsoldiering onâ, taking their own life ...
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, policy makers, family workers, 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
Men's Health Week (MHW) in Ireland was planned by a broad range of partners who contributed to an inter-agency Planning Group.Â This body met, and had ongoing communication with each other, between February and May 2012.Â It was convened and coordinated by the Menâs Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI).
The theme for this yearâs MHW (i.e. First Instinct) offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate.Â Indeed, the planning process for 2012 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...Â
- ARK (Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster)
- Belfast Community Sports Development Network
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
- British Medical Association (NI)
- FĂr Le Cheile (Men Together)
- Football Association of Ireland
- Gaelic Athletic Association
- Inspire Ireland
- Health Service Executive Dublin / North East
- Irish Cancer Society
- Irish Football Association
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Menâs Sheds Forum
- Irish Rugby Football Union
- Irish Sports Council
- Man Alive
- Man Matters Project
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Medical Students Committee in Northern Ireland
- Men Alone in No-man's-land
- Men As Learners and Elders
- Menâs Action Network
- Menâs Development Network
- Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI)
- Mental Health Ireland
- National Youth Council of Ireland
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- NI Chest, Heart and Stroke
- Southern Health & Social Care Trust
- Sport NI
- Sure Start Fathers-Work Network
- Trinity College Dublin
- Western Health & Social Care Trust
- YouthAction NI -Â Work with Young Men Unit
Menâs Health Week 2012Â Logo and Image Pack
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.htmlÂ
This page includes generic MHW images, new resources created specifically forÂ MHW 2012, as well as the ones used during 2011.Â There was a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a web banner, a poster, and even a âWe Support Menâs Health Weekâ image - for groups and individuals who want to be seen to be âdoing their bitâ!
Groups and individuals were invited toÂ use any or all of these images to promote MHW in their own workplace, community, organisation, project, business, club, university, youth centre ...Â However, they were asked toÂ acknowledge the source.
Poster for Menâs Health Week 2012
To highlight Men's Health Week (MHW) 2012, Michael Lynch (from Men's Action Network in the North West) starred in an Ireland-wide poster campaign to raise awareness of the week.Â The message for men on this posterÂ was very simple: âWhat's Your First Instinct? ... Fight.Â Flight.Â Find Out".
Even people whoÂ didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2012Â were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place.Â
How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2012 news
If you'd like to keep up-to-date with the latestÂ news on Menâs Health Week (MHW) 2012, check out our pages onÂ either Facebook (www.facebook.com/MensHealthForumIreland) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL).
However, as all social networkers know, pages such as these areÂ no use unless they have a lot of Fans / FollowersÂ - thatâs where your help is needed!Â Visit the sites, click on the âLIKEâ / 'FOLLOW' buttons, and send the link to all your friends.
The focus for this year (i.e. 'First Instinct') lent itself to a wide range of ways to mark this occasion.Â However, there was also a recognition that you don't have toÂ stick rigidly to this particular topic.Â Anything which encourages 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 welcomed.
Some people have time, energy and resources to plan something big.Â However, even if this was not possible, there wereÂ many simple, free and easy ways to get involved ...
- Put up a MHW poster (or two) in your workplace / meeting space / community centre / local shop / home / bar.
- Promote the week on your website (using the new MHW logo and/or web banner).
- Link to this webpageÂ from your own website, Facebook page or other social networking site.
- Send an email to everyone in your contacts list to tell them about Menâs Health Week, and ask them to forward the message to all their contacts.
- Visit the MHW 2012 Facebook site (www.facebook.com/MensHealthForumIreland), become a Fan, and send the link to all your online friends.
- Insert the MHW logo onto the bottom of your outgoing emails for the months of May and June.
- Include information on MHW in your mailouts / newsletters.
- Tell others about what is happening in your area during MHW by posting details on the MHFI website (use the online form at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/submit-an-event.html).
- Make one of the MHW images your computer desktop âwallpaperâ during May and June.
- Encourage the men you know to get involved in some of the activities taking place during MHW 2012.
- Print the MHW logo onto T-shirts that can be worn before and during the week.
- Remind your colleagues to follow all the latest MHW news on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRLÂ ...
However, if youâre a ...
HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDER why not produce a menâs health leaflet, or offer menâs health (MOT / NCT) checks, or run a menâs health campaign in your area, or consult with local men about what services they need, or give free pedometers to men, orÂ ...?
COMMUNITY / VOLUNTARY GROUP why not start-up a walking group, or organise a healthy eating cookery class, or form a menâs health group, or launch a menâs swimming / cycling club, or get your local leisure centre / gym to offer a free pass to men during MHW, or collate and display a list of local Helplines / support services, orÂ ...?
SPORTING BODY why not use your unique position (as many men like sport already) to give out menâs health information at games, or get local men to join-in training sessions, or ask your best known player to give a menâs health talk, or develop forms of your game which older men can participate in, or use the European Championships this Summer to motivate men to get fit / take up a sport, or ...?
LOCAL POLITICIAN / POLICY MAKER why not table a debate on menâs health in the Northern Ireland Assembly / DĂĄil Ăireann / local council chamber, or set-up an inter-party group on menâs health, or host a menâs health seminar in your constituency, or propose a party policy on menâs health, or look at how elements of the Menâs Health Policy in the Republic of Ireland could be introduced to Northern Ireland, or explore the extent of inequalities in health, or set your department the goal of tackling a specific menâs health issue over the coming year, or have a look at some of the evidence about menâs health status (at www.mhfi.org/resources/research-policies-and-reports.html) or Â ...?
EMPLOYER why not organise health checks for men in your workplace, or set-up a regular game of football before / after work, or invite speakers to come in and give talks on specific aspects of menâs health, or produce your own workplace guide to menâs health, or offer an hour off to your employees to attend a menâs health event, or ...?
OTHER SERVICE PROVIDER why not display menâs health information in your public spaces, or direct your service users to menâs health programmes, or provide a room and administrative support for a local menâs health initiative, or think about helping to start a âMenâs Shedâ or...?
MEDIA PERSON why not cover MHW 2012 in your publication, or research and produce an in-depth special report on a specific menâs health issue, or promote the work of a local menâs health project, or run a series of features on menâs health during MHW 2012, or ...?
WOMAN why not encourage the man / men in your life (partner, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, neighbour, friend, colleague etc.) to take part in one of the MHW events, or to see their GP about that niggling health concern, or to join a menâs health group, or ...?
MAN why not take a few minutes to look at the state of your own health, and make MHW 2012 the start date for a new beginning!!!
Click here for a copy of our paper on what you can do to mark MHW 2012.
Tell others about your Menâs Health Week 2012 Event
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) sought toÂ promote the details of activities or events that were held throughout Ireland during Menâs Health Week 2012 on this website.Â It was hoped that this would help everyone to find out what was happening during the week, where it would take place, and how to join in.Â It also gave some recognition and publicity to all those groups across Ireland that were doing something for and with men.
TheseÂ activitiesÂ included health checks, conferences, launches,Â games,Â seminars, competitions,Â workshops,Â courses,Â displays, health fairs ...Â Whatever the activity, everyone was encouraged to submit their details.
There were three ways to let us know about what was happening:
- Submit details using our online form which can be found at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/promote-an-event.htmlÂ or ...
- Download and save a copy of our MS Word Registration Form, type inÂ yourÂ details, and email it backÂ to us, or ...
- Print off a copy of our Portable Document Format (PDF) Registration Form, handwrite your details, and post it back to us.