Men's Health Week 2018

International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.  During 2018, it ran from Monday 11th until Sunday 17th 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.  The overall aims of MHW are to:

  1. Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.
  2. Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities.
  3. Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.

Almost fifty years ago, Neil Armstrong told the world that ‘the Eagle has landed’ and got out of the Lunar Module saying some of the most famous words in history: ‘One small step for [a] man.  One giant leap for mankind’.  This was certainly an iconic moment.  Neil and his colleagues (Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) had taken a huge step into the unknown.  There was a great challenge in front of them, but they met it head on.  They were in a vulnerable situation, but they relied on each other’s support and the back-up of (as Neil later said) hundreds of thousands of people behind the project.

During Men's Health Week 2018, people in Ireland were also asked to do something out of this world.  Everyone was encouraged to work together to do at least one small practical thing to improve their own health and the health of men across the island.

The starting point for this year’s conversation about improving the health of males was to answer the question: ‘what’s your small step going to be?’...  If the answer was ‘I don’t know’, then it might be time to think about doing something that will make a positive difference to the health of the men and boys that you have contact with and influence over.  MHW 2018 offered a launch pad to do this.  A whole series of one small steps for man will guarantee one giant leap for men’s health on the island of Ireland!

There is certainly a need to ask this question, as men, in Ireland, experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young ...

  • Local men die, on average, four and a half 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.

Like to hear some more about Men's Health Week 2018? ...  Then click on the play button below to listen to Lorcan Brennan (Men's Development Network and Men's Health Forum in Ireland) speaking to Finian Murray (HSE Health Promotion and Improvement and Men's Health Forum in Ireland) about the week:

 

Please use the links below to find out everything that you need to know about MHW 2018 ...

Why focus upon 'One Small Step for Man'?

Who can be involved in this week?

Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2018

Poster for Men's Health Week 2018

Postcard for Men's Health Week 2018

Men’s Health Week 2018 Logo and Image Pack

'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual

How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2018 news

What can I do to mark Men's Health Week 2018?

Raise the profile of MHW 2018 - Get Tweeting / Posting with a ready-made pool of content!

Tell others about your Men’s Health Week 2018 Event

List of some of the events and activities taking place during Men's Health Week 2018 (PDF, 847KB)

Men's Health Week 2018 - A Toolbox for Action (PDF, 663KB)

Men's Health Week 2018 Press Release - Republic of Ireland (PDF, 427KB)

Men's Health Week 2018 Press Release - Northern Ireland (PDF, 427KB)

 

 

Why focus upon 'One Small Step for Man'?
Not too long ago, we were unaware of the full extent of men’s poor health status and the specific health issues that they face.  However, this is no longer the case.  In recent years, a broad range of research has highlighted the health challenges which face men in Ireland and further afield.  For example ...

Men’s Health in Ireland (PDF, 2.13MB)

Getting Inside Men’s Health (PDF, 1.5MB)

Men’s Health in Northern Ireland: Tackling the Root Causes of Men’s [ill] Health (PDF, 965KB)

A Report on the all-Ireland Young Men and Suicide Project (PDF, 2.73MB)

Facing the Challenge - The Impact of Recession and Unemployment on Men’s Health in Ireland (PDF, 1.9MB)

A Report on the Excess Burden of Cancer among Men in the Republic of Ireland (PDF, 2.95MB )

The State of Men’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.  Work has already been done to support the health needs of men and boys: Ireland was the first country in the world to have a National Men’s Health Policy which has now been succeeded by the Healthy Ireland - Men Action Plan; the ‘Engage’ Men’s Health Training Programme has influenced how services and structures support males; new innovative and pioneering initiatives have been developed by a range of organisations across the island which provide models for improving aspects of men’s health ...  Much has been achieved, but there is room for more.

But men’s health is not just an issue for individual men.  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.  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.  This will require everyone to focus attention upon the men and boys around us.

The starting point for this year’s conversation about improving the health of males was to answer the question: ‘what's your small step going to be?’...

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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, 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.

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Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2018
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2018 in Ireland was planned by a broad range of partners who contributed to an all-island inter-agency Planning Group.  This body began meeting in January 2018 and members had ongoing communication with each other.  It was convened and coordinated by the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI). 

The theme for this year’s MHW (i.e. 'One Small Step for Man') offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate, and the planning process for 2018 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...

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Poster for Men’s Health Week 2018
To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2018, a poster was designed.  There were three types of poster made available - hard copy A3 size (with a blank text box for writing in details of local events x 2,000 posters), hard copy A4 size (x 4,000 posters), and online electronic files.  The electronic files came in a range of sizes and formats suitable for a variety of uses.

Copies of the online resources can be downloaded from: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html

All hard copies of the poster were given out within a few weeks of their release.

Even people who didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2018 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place.  Although this cost nothing to do, it made a big difference to promoting the week!

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Postcard for Men's Health Week 2018
Every year since 2014, there has been a Men's Health Week (MHW) postcard to publicise the week.  These cards can be displayed as small flyers in public spaces and are often sent by organisations to the men that they have contact with.  This has proved to be a very successful means of letting local men know about the week.

This year, some groups also used them as 'pledge cards' i.e. men could write what their 'one small step' was going to be on the card and keep it beside their desk, on their work bench, attached to their dashboard etc. to remind them of what they want and hope to do.

In the lead-up to MHW 2018, 15,000 postcards were made available to anyone who wanted to use them to promote the week.  The front of the postcard was a similar design to the poster, and the back had a pre-written message which said:

Hi there,

It’s hard to believe that it’s now almost fifty years since Neil Armstrong told the world that ‘the Eagle has landed’ and got out of the Lunar Module saying some of the most famous words in history: ‘One small step for {a} man.  One giant leap for mankind’.  This was certainly an iconic moment.

Neil and his colleagues (Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins) had taken a huge step into the unknown.  There was a great challenge in front of them, but they met it head on.  They were in a vulnerable situation, but they relied on each other’s support and the back-up of (as Neil later said) hundreds of thousands of people behind the project.

During Men's Health Week 2018, people in Ireland are also being asked to do something out of this world.  Everyone is encouraged to work together to do one small practical thing to improve their own health and the health of men across the island.  The big question is: ‘what’s your ‘one small step’ going to be?’…

Have a great week!

 

All hard copies of the postcard were given out within a few weeks of their release.

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Men’s Health Week 2018 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: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html

This page offered generic MHW images, new resources created specifically for MHW 2018, as well as the ones used in previous years.  There was a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a Facebook banner, a poster, a badge and even a 'We Support Men’s Health Week' image - for groups and individuals who wanted 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 ...

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'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual
Research clearly shows that there are many challenges to be faced when seeking to improve men’s health.  However, it also highlights that men’s health can be improved in many significant ways - if the right choices are made.  Men, themselves, have a key role to play in this process.

One of the most successful and sought after elements of previous Men’s Health Weeks has been the ‘Challenges and Choices’ Man Manual which is distributed free-of-charge to males throughout the whole island of Ireland.  In the past, all of the hard copies of this booklet have been distributed within a few weeks of their release.

The ‘Challenges and Choices’ booklet is a male-friendly, 32 page publication, which highlights ten key men’s health issues i.e. alcohol, food, physical activity, smoking, stress, blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, skin cancers, back care and help-seeking behaviour.  It was written by leading men’s health expert Dr Ian Banks (internationally acclaimed men’s health author, President of the European Men’s Health Forum, the British Medical Association’s Spokesperson on Men’s Health, and a resident of Northern Ireland).

This Manual: issues a realistic and practical challenge to improve the reader’s health in each area of concern; provides a reason for why it is important to consider taking action in relation to each issue; offers three possible choices for what actions can be taken to combat each condition; signposts the reader to local sources of help and support.

During MHW 2018, 20,000 updated copies of this publication were made available to men throughout the island of Ireland.  These were funded by the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.  To see what the Man Manual looks like, click here.

All hard copies of the Man Manual were given out within a few weeks of their release.

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Cover of the 'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual for 2018

 

How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2018 news
Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2018 by checking out our Facebook (www.facebook.com/MensHealthWeek) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL) sites.  They were encouraged to click on the ‘LIKE’ / 'FOLLOW' buttons, and to send these links to all their friends.

People who are into social media, were also asked to Tweet about MHW using the hashtag #MensHealthWeek

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What can I do to mark Men’s Health Week 2018?
Everyone can do something to support and celebrate Men’s Health Week (MHW) each year.

The focus for MHW 2018 (i.e. ‘One Small Step for Man’) lent itself to a wide range of ways to mark this occasion.  However, there was no need to stick rigidly to this particular theme.  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 welcomed!

Some people had the time, energy and resources to plan something big.  However, even if this was not possible, there were still many simple, free and easy ways to get involved / show support.

For inspiration, everyone was invited to download our guide at: www.mhfi.org/mhw2018celebrateit.pdf (PDF, 889KB)

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Raise the profile of Men's Health Week 2018 - Get Tweeting!
Men’s health issues and needs are numerous and complicated.  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!  However, when preparing for Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2018, 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 on the days leading up to it.  These were ...

  • Friday 8th June  -  Men’s Health Week is Coming! …  Here’s what you need to know
  • Saturday 9th June  -  Men and Healthy Relationships
  • Sunday 10th June  -  We are what we eat
  • Monday 11th June  -  Top Tips for Men’s Mental Fitness
  • Tuesday 12th June  -  Keeping your Heart Healthy
  • Wednesday 13th June  -  Men and Cancer
  • Thursday 14th June  -  Trash the Ash …  Men and Smoking
  • Friday 15th June  -  One Less Today …  Men and Alcohol
  • Saturday 16th June  -  Sports Saturday …  Men, Physical Activity and Sport
  • Sunday 17th June  -  The Importance of Fathers to Children's Outcomes

Social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) has become a powerful tool for organisations to spread their message.  During Men’s Health Week 2018, everyone was encouraged to ‘Post’ and ‘Tweet’ about it and, when possible, to use the hashtag: #MensHealthWeek

For those people who would like to support MHW 2018 using their own social media channels - but who didn't have the time, energy or knowledge to develop their own messages - there was a document which offered a range of Posts and Tweets that they could simply cut-and-paste from.  There were lots of message options presented for each day of MHW, and these related to the theme for that day.  Everyone was invited to use them all, or pick and choose the ones that suited themselves / their organisation / their location.  Click here to download these suggestions.

Even loading a few things to websites / Facebook pages / Twitter sites / other social media platforms made a huge difference to publicising the week.  This was, therefore, an easy and free way to show support for MHW.

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Tell others about your Men’s Health Week 2018 Event
The Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) always seeks to promote the details of activities or events that are being held throughout Ireland during Men’s Health Week on this website.  It is hoped that this will help everyone to find out what is happening during the week, where it will be taking place, and how to join in.  It also gives some recognition and publicity to all those groups across the island that are doing something for and with men.

These activities can include health checks, conferences, launches, games, seminars, competitions, workshops, courses, displays, health fairs, workplace mailouts ...  Whatever the activity, everyone is encouraged to submit their details.

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

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

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