Men's Health Week 2019

 

International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.  During 2019, it ran from Monday 10th until Sunday 16th 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.

But why is there a need to hold a Men's Health Week? ...  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.  Research shows that these men experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young ...

  • Local men die, on average, up to four years younger than women do.
  • Males have higher death rates than women for most 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 amongst men may, in fact, rise in the future.  However, this is not a lost cause.  Much can be / is being done to improve this situation.

The starting point for this year’s conversation about improving the health of males was to recognise and acknowledge that MEN’S HEALTH MATTERS.  However, this is not enough on its own.  It also needs to be followed-up by action, and this requires effort.

Therefore, during this week, everyone was asked to MAKE THE TIME and TAKE THE TIME to do something realistic and practical that will make a positive difference to the health of both themselves and the men and boys that they have contact with and influence over.

MHW 2019 offered an ideal occasion to focus upon this issue.

Please use the links below to find out everything that you need to know about MHW 2019 ...

Why focus upon 'Men's Health Matters'?

Who can be involved in this week?

Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2019

Poster for Men's Health Week 2019

Postcard for Men's Health Week 2019

Men’s Health Week 2019 Logo and Image Pack

'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual

How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2019 news

What can I do to mark Men's Health Week 2019?

Raise the profile of MHW 2019 - Get Tweeting / Posting with a ready-made pool of content!

Tell others about your Men’s Health Week 2019 Event

List of some of the events and activities taking place during Men's Health Week 2019 (PDF, 900KB)

Men's Health Week 2019 - A Toolbox for Action (PDF, 737KB)

Men's Health Week 2019 Press Release (PDF, 573KB)

 

Would you like to hear some more about Men's Health Week 2019? ...  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:

 

 

 

Why focus upon 'Men's Health Matters'?
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.  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 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; pioneering approaches have been developed and tested which provide models for improving men’s health; new men’s health / support groups are evolving across the island of Ireland ...  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.  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.

MENS' HEALTH MATTERS.  In a busy world, we all need to both MAKE THE TIME and TAKE THE TIME to do something about it.

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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 2019
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2019 in Ireland was planned by a broad range of partners who contributed to an inter-agency all-island Planning Group.  This body began meeting in November 2018, and had ongoing communication up to - and during - the week itself.

The theme for this year’s MHW (i.e. 'Men's Health Matters') offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate (via both face-to-face meetings and electronic communication), and the planning process for 2019 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...

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Poster for Men’s Health Week 2019

To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2019, a bespoke poster was designed. The 'face' of the week was Finian Murray, who is a Men's Health Development Officer for the Health Service Executive (HSE).  However, when you open-up the poster and zoom in, you will notice that the image of Finian is actually a mosaic - composed of hundreds of other faces of men and boys from across the island of Ireland.  Why not have a look and see if you can recognise any of these people?

There were three types of poster available - hard copy A3 size (2,000 posters with a blank text box for writing in details of local events), hard copy A4 size (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 electronic resources can be downloaded from: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html

Even people who didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2019 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place - since, although this costs nothing to do, it could make a big difference to promoting the week!

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Postcard for Men's Health Week 2019

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 on the card how they were going to make the time and take the time to improve their health and keep it beside their desk, on their work bench, attached to their dashboard etc. to remind them of what they wanted and hoped to do.

In the lead-up to MHW 2019, 10,000 postcards were made available to anyone who wished to use them to promote the week.  The front of the postcard was a similar design to the MHW poster, and the back had a pre-written message which said:

Hi there,

You may not know this, but men on the island of Ireland experience a lot of ill-health and die far too young.  However, there are things that we can do to stop this - if we really want to.  It goes without saying, therefore, that MEN'S HEALTH MATTERS.

To try to change this situation, Ireland will be joining with other countries to mark International Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2019.

MHW seeks to heighten awareness of preventable health problems, support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices and activities, and encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties.  But all of this requires dedicated time - which is often in short supply.

During this week, everyone is asked to MAKE THE TIME and TAKE THE TIME to do something realistic and practical that will make a positive difference to the health of men and boys.  The big question is: are you up for the challenge? ...  If so, find out more at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-2019.html

Hope you have a great week!

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Men’s Health Week 2019 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 2019, 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 were 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 2019, 15,000 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 requested and disseminated soon after their launch.

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How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2019 news

     

Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Men’s Health Week (MHW) 2019 by checking out the MHW Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MensHealthWeek) and Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL).  Viewers 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 hashtags #MensHealthWeek and #MensHealthMatters

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What can I do to mark Men’s Health Week 2019?

Everyone can do something to support and celebrate Men’s Health Week (MHW) each year.

The focus for MHW 2019 (i.e. ‘Men's Health Matters’) 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 welcome!

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 ideas guide at: www.mhfi.org/mhw2019celebrateit.pdf (PDF, 648KB)

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Raise the profile of Men's Health Week 2019 - 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) 2019, 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 7th June  -  Men’s Health Week - it’s a matter of fact
  • Saturday 8th June  -  Connections do matter
  • Sunday 9th June  -  What we eat matters
  • Monday 10th June  -  Mental fitness really matters
  • Tuesday 11th June  -  The heart of the matter
  • Wednesday 12th June  -  Cancer awareness matters
  • Thursday 13th June  -  Quitting smoking matters
  • Friday 14th June  -  Drinking less matters
  • Saturday 15th June  -  Sports Saturday…  being active matters
  • Sunday 16th June  -  Family matters

Social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) has become a powerful tool for organisations to spread their message.  During Men’s Health Week 2019, everyone was encouraged to ‘Post’ and ‘Tweet’ about it and, when possible, to use the hashtags: #MensHealthWeek and/or #MensHealthMatters

For those people who would like to support MHW 2019 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 simply 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 feeds / Instagram / 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 2019 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 were three ways to let us know about what was happening during 2019:

  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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