The Big Countdown Begins

Research clearly shows that men on the island of Ireland experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young.  They: die younger than women; have higher death rates for almost all of the leading causes of death and at all ages; have poorer lifestyles which are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases; present later to health services which can lead to a large number of problems becoming untreatable ...  However, this is not a lost cause.  Much can be / is being done to improve this situation.

We’re now only a few months away from International Men's Health Week (MHW), which begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.  This year, it will take place from Monday 10th - Sunday 16th June.  This week is celebrated in many European countries, as well as in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada (and a number of other places worldwide), and offers a unique and ideal opportunity for everyone to do their bit to improve the health of men and boys by: heightening awareness of preventable health problems; supporting men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities; and encouraging the early detection / treatment of health problems.

Each year, there is also a specific theme.  During 2024, the theme for Ireland will be 'Know Your Numbers' and the key message to everyone is ‘men's health counts’.

This is a population-wide attempt to increase awareness of the key numbers that policy makers / service providers / men / important people in men’s lives need to know.  Sometimes, these will relate to medical issues (e.g. blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol level), but they also include key statistics on the state of men’s health in Ireland, as well as the contact numbers for helpline and support services which are available.

Now’s the time to start planning what you might do to mark this important occasion.  A range of free resources will soon be made available.  These include posters, postcards, social media content, graphics, an updated ‘Action Man’ manual, signposting tools etc.  Keep up-to-date with developments at: and kick-off your MHW activity by sharing the countdown video clip at:

Let’s Talk About Suicide

'Let’s Talk About Suicide' is a new free online suicide prevention training programme that helps people to develop their skills to keep others safe.  It assists participants to: identify people who are at risk; confidently ask about the topic of suicide; and connect them with resources that can help them to stay safe.  The programme was developed by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), and is available to anyone over 18 years of age.  It uses a mix of guided online content, video and interactive questions.  Participants can pause and recommence the programme at their own convenience.  On average, the programme takes 60 minutes to complete, but participants can work at their own pace.  Find out how to access it at:

How're You Doing Man?

Congratulations to everyone in Insight Inishowen on the official launch of 'How're You Doing Man?' in January 2024.  This report, by Ruth Garvey-Williams and Margaret McLafferty, highlights the findings from research conducted into men's mental health in Donegal.  The aim of this research was to listen to local men to find out their views, experiences and opinions about mental health, and the services and supports that are available to them.  By conducting both quantitative and qualitative research, the team were able to build up a picture of some of the key issues that are emerging across the county.  They also listened to women’s concerns about their male loved ones.  See a copy of the report at: