DuringÂ 2013,Â Men's Health Week ran from Monday 10th until Sunday 16th June.
Each year, individual countries focus upon a specific theme.Â The theme for 2013 in IrelandÂ was: "Action Men - Turning Words into Actions".
There is certainly a need to do 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.
Briefing Paper on Men's Health Week 2013 (PDF, 340KB)
Men's Health Week 2013 Press Release (PDF, 286KB)Â
Why should we focus upon: 'Action Men - Turning Words into Actions'?
Not too long ago, we were unaware of the full extent of menâ€™s poor health status and the specific health issues that they face.Â However, this is no longer the case.Â Therefore, we cannot ignore the needs of almost half of the population of the island of Ireland.
In recent years, a broad range of research has highlighted the health difficulties which face men in Ireland and further afield.Â For example ...
Menâ€™s Health in Ireland (PDF, 2.13MB)
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) ...
This evidence clearly shows that menâ€™s health could be improved in many significant ways.Â However, men require cultural encouragement, structural support and practical opportunities to do this.
The Republic of Ireland was the first country in the world to have a National Menâ€™s Health Policy.Â This was founded upon a comprehensive review of menâ€™s health evidence (both nationally and internationally), as well as consultations with a range of stakeholders - including men themselves.Â Northern Ireland still lacks any dedicated formal framework / guidelines for assessing or meeting menâ€™s health needs.
Now that we know what many of the key menâ€™s health issues are, itâ€™s time to do something about them.Â This year, Menâ€™s Heath Week called for action on menâ€™s health.Â There is a role for everyone.Â 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 and service providers to recognise the role that they need to play, and to do something practical about it.Â
Frequently, we simply blame men for their own state of health, and focus upon the shortcomings of individuals without recognising that there are also wider social determinants of health.Â MHW 2013 called upon everyone to do their bit to improve the lot of men and boys, and to start turning words into action.
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, 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) 2013 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 January and May 2013.Â It was convened and coordinated by the Menâ€™s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI).Â
The theme for this yearâ€™s MHW (i.e. Action Men) offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate.Â Indeed, the planning process for 2013 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...
- ARK (Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster)
- Belfast Community Sports Development Network
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
- British Medical Association (NI)
- Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
- FÃr Le Cheile (Men Together)
- Football Association of Ireland
- Gaelic Athletic Association
- Health Service Executive Dublin / North East
- Helplink Support Services
- Inspire Ireland
- Irish Cancer Society
- Irish Football Association
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Menâ€™s Sheds Association
- Irish Rugby Football Union
- Irish Sports Council
- Man Alive
- Man Matters Project
- Marian House Nursing Home, Kimmage Manor
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Medical Students Committee in Northern Ireland
- Men Alone in No-man's-land
- Menâ€™s Action Network
- Menâ€™s 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
- See Change
- Southern Health & Social Care Trust
- Sport NI
- Sure Start Fathers-Work Network
- Western Health & Social Care Trust
- YouthAction NI - Work with Young Men Unit
Poster for Menâ€™s Health Week 2013
To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2013, Michael Glover (from the Man Matters project) starred in an Ireland-wide poster campaign to raise awareness of the week.
There were two types of poster available - hard copy (A3 size) which could be ordered by emailing Colin Fowler, and an online electronic file (A4 size).Â There were also a number of other sizes and formats of the poster - suitable for a variety of uses.
The online resources are available at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html
Even people who didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2013 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it is taking place.
Menâ€™s Health Week 2013 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.html
This page includes generic MHW images, new resources created specifically for MHW 2013, as well as the ones used in previous years.Â There is a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a web banner, a poster, and even a 'We Support Menâ€™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, Church, club, university, youth centre ...Â However, they were asked to acknowledge the source.
How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2012 news
Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2013 by checking out Facebook (www.facebook.com/MensHealthForumIreland) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL).Â They were also encouraged toÂ click on the â€˜LIKEâ€™ / 'FOLLOW' buttons, and send the link to all their friends.
The focus for MHW this year (i.e. â€˜Action Men - Turning Words into Actionsâ€™) 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 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 very welcome!
Some people had time, energy and resources to plan something big.Â However, even if this was not possible, there were many simple, free and easy ways to get involved / show support ...
- Put up a MHW poster (or two) in your workplace / meeting space / community centre / local shop / home / bar / waiting room etc.
- 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 Menâ€™s Health Week, and ask them to forward the message to all their contacts.
- Visit the MHW 2013 Facebook page (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 â€˜wallpaperâ€™ during May and June.
- Encourage the men you know to get involved in some of the activities taking place during MHW 2013.
- 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/MensHealthIRL ...
However, if youâ€™re a ...
HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDER why not produce a menâ€™s health leaflet, or offer menâ€™s health (MOT / NCT) checks, or run a menâ€™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 menâ€™s health group, or launch a menâ€™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 menâ€™s health information at games, or get local men to join-in training sessions, or ask your best known player to give a menâ€™s health talk, or develop forms of your game which older men can participate in,Â or print menâ€™s health messages on your playersâ€™ shirts, or ...?
LOCAL POLITICIAN / POLICY MAKER why not table a debate on menâ€™s health in the Northern Ireland Assembly / DÃ¡il Ã‰ireann / local council chamber, or set-up an inter-party group on menâ€™s health, or host a menâ€™s health seminar in your constituency, or propose a party policy on menâ€™s health, or look at how elements of the Menâ€™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 menâ€™s health issue over the coming year, or have a look at some of the evidence about menâ€™s health status (at www.mhfi.org/resources/research-policies-and-reports.html) orÂ ...?
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 menâ€™s health, or produce your own workplace guide to menâ€™s health, or offer an hour off to your employees to attend a menâ€™s health event, or ...?
OTHER SERVICE PROVIDER why not display menâ€™s health information in your public spaces, or direct your service users to menâ€™s health programmes, or provide a room and administrative support for a local menâ€™s health initiative, or think about helping to start a Menâ€™s Shed or...?
MEDIA PERSON why not cover MHW 2013 in your publication, or research and produce an in-depth special report on a specific menâ€™s health issue, or promote the work of a local menâ€™s health project, or run a series of features on menâ€™s health during MHW 2013, 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 menâ€™s health group, or ...?
MAN why not take a few minutes to look at the state of your own health, and make MHW 2013 the start date for a new beginning!!!
Click here for a copy of our paper on what you can do to mark MHW 2013.
Tell others about your Menâ€™s Health Week 2013 Event
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) always seeksÂ to promote the details of activities or events that are being held throughout Ireland during Menâ€™s Health Week on this website.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 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 could include health checks, conferences, launches, games, seminars, competitions, workshops, courses, displays, health fairs ...Â Whatever the activity, everyone was encouraged to submit their details.
There were three ways to let us know about what is happening:
- Submit details using our online form which can be found at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/promote-an-event.html or ...
- Download and save a copy of our MS Word Registration Form, type in your details, and email it back to us, or ...
- Print off a copy of our Portable Document Format (PDF) Registration Form, handwrite your details, and post it back to us.