Men's Health Week 2012


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.  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.

Please use the links below to find out more about MHW 2012 and what happened this year ...

Men's Health - What's Your First Instinct ... Fight? Flight? Find Out?

Who can be involved in this week?

Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2012

Men’s Health Week 2012 Logo and Image Pack

Poster for Men's Health Week 2012

How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2012 news

What can I do to mark Men's Health Week 2012?

Tell others about your Men’s Health Week 2012 Event

List of some events and activities taking place during Men's Health Week 2012 (PDF, 473KB)

Briefing Paper on Men's Health Week 2012 (PDF, 191KB)

Men's Health Week 2012 Press Release (PDF, 227KB)

Men's Health Week 2012 Press Release - Irish Language Version (PDF, 1677KB)




Men's Health - What's Your First Instinct ...  Fight? Flight? Find Out?
The core aims of Men's Health Week (MHW) each year 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, individual countries focus upon a specific theme.  The theme for 2012 in Ireland was: "Men’s Health - What’s Your First Instinct ... Fight? Flight? Find Out?"

Human beings start out life with a pre-disposition for self-preservation.  This ‘first instinct’ 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 ...  and, consequently, for health (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) to suffer.

This year’s MHW focused upon encouraging and developing a ‘First Instinct’ 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, ‘soldiering on’, taking their own life ...

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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.

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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.  This body met, and had ongoing communication with each other, between February and May 2012.  It was convened and coordinated by the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI).

The theme for this year’s MHW (i.e. First Instinct) offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate.  Indeed, the planning process for 2012 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ... 

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Men’s Health Week 2012 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.  To do this, there needs to be a common set of promotional tools.  These were made available for free downloading at: 

This page includes generic MHW images, new resources created specifically for MHW 2012, as well as the ones used during 2011.  There was a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a web banner, a poster, and even a “We Support Men’s Health Week” image - for groups and individuals who want to be seen to be ‘doing their bit’!

Groups and individuals were invited to use any or all of these images to promote MHW in their own workplace, community, organisation, project, business, club, university, youth centre ...  However, they were asked to acknowledge the source.

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Poster for Men’s 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.  The message for men on this poster was very simple: “What's Your First Instinct? ... Fight. Flight. Find Out".

There were two types of poster available - hard copy (A3 size) which could be ordered by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Northern Ireland) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Republic of Ireland), and an online electronic file (A4 size).  The online version was available at:

Even people who didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2012 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place. 

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How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2012 news
If you'd like to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2012, check out our pages on either Facebook ( or Twitter (

However, as all social networkers know, pages such as these are no use unless they have a lot of Fans / Followers - that’s where your help is needed!  Visit the sites, click on the ‘LIKE’ / 'FOLLOW' buttons, and send the link to all your friends.

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What can I do to mark Men’s Health Week 2012?
From the outset, it was acknowledged that absolutely everyone can do something to support and celebrate Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2012!

The focus for this year (i.e. 'First Instinct') lent itself to a wide range of ways to mark this occasion.  However, there was also a recognition that you don't have to stick rigidly to this particular topic.  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.  However, even if this was not possible, there were 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 webpage from your own website, Facebook page or other social networking site.
  • Send an email to everyone in your contacts list to tell them about Men’s Health Week, and ask them to forward the message to all their contacts.
  • Visit the MHW 2012 Facebook site (, 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:
  • Make one of the MHW images your computer desktop ‘wallpaper’ 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: ...

However, if you’re a ...

HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDER why not produce a men’s health leaflet, or offer men’s health (MOT / NCT) checks, or run a men’s health campaign in your area, or consult with local men about what services they need, or give free pedometers to men, or ...?

COMMUNITY / VOLUNTARY GROUP why not start-up a walking group, or organise a healthy eating cookery class, or form a men’s health group, or launch a men’s 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, or ...?

SPORTING BODY why not use your unique position (as many men like sport already) to give out men’s health information at games, or get local men to join-in training sessions, or ask your best known player to give a men’s 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 men’s health in the Northern Ireland Assembly / Dáil Éireann / local council chamber, or set-up an inter-party group on men’s health, or host a men’s health seminar in your constituency, or propose a party policy on men’s health, or look at how elements of the Men’s 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 men’s health issue over the coming year, or have a look at some of the evidence about men’s health status (at or  ...?

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 men’s health, or produce your own workplace guide to men’s health, or offer an hour off to your employees to attend a men’s health event, or ...?

OTHER SERVICE PROVIDER why not display men’s health information in your public spaces, or direct your service users to men’s health programmes, or provide a room and administrative support for a local men’s health initiative, or think about helping to start a ‘Men’s Shed’ or...?

MEDIA PERSON why not cover MHW 2012 in your publication, or research and produce an in-depth special report on a specific men’s health issue, or promote the work of a local men’s health project, or run a series of features on men’s 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 men’s 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.

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Tell others about your Men’s Health Week 2012 Event
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) sought to promote the details of activities or events that were held throughout Ireland during Men’s Health Week 2012 on this website.  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.  It also gave some recognition and publicity to all those groups across Ireland that were doing something for and with men.

These activities included health checks, conferences, launches, games, seminars, competitions, workshops, courses, displays, health fairs ...  Whatever the activity, everyone was encouraged to submit their details.

There were three ways to let us know about what was happening:

  1. Submit details using our online form which can be found at: or ...
  2. Download and save a copy of our MS Word Registration Form, type in your details, and email it back to us, or ...
  3. Print off a copy of our Portable Document Format (PDF) Registration Form, handwrite your details, and post it back to us.

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