Published: 14 June 2021
Men’s Health Week (MHW) aims to heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages, support men and boys to make healthier lifestyle choices, and encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
In Ireland, the awareness week, which runs from Monday, 14 June to Father’s Day, Sunday, 20 June, has grown in popularity over the last number of years, with many organisations and individuals lending their support in order to highlight the different topics discussed over the week.
HSE, Health & Wellbeing as a key funder of the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, the body who co-ordinate Men’s Health Week, are proud to be associated with this initiative.
The chosen theme for Men's Health Week 2021 is 'Making the Connections’ and the call to action is:
- CHECK IN with yourself to see how you are coping / feeling, and to identify any health worries that you might have.
- CHECK UP on your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues to see how they’re doing and to offer support.
- If you notice anything worrying or which needs medical attention, CHECK IT OUT and seek information / help / support / treatment as soon as possible.
The theme is encouraging us all to take stock of our wellbeing. In particular to reach out to family, friends and colleagues and in our communities to simply rebuild our social connections following the impact of COVID-19.
Research clearly shows that men on the island of Ireland experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young. On average, they:
- die younger than women do;
- have higher death rates than females for almost all of the leading causes of death and at all ages;
- adopt lifestyles which are responsible for a large proportion of chronic diseases;
- present later to health services, which can lead to a number of problems becoming untreatable.
However, this is not a lost cause, and many of these conditions are preventable. But everyone needs to do their bit to bring about change - from policy makers, to service providers, to men themselves.
Men’s Health Week 2021 offers an ideal opportunity to do something positive and realistic to improve both your own health, and the health of men and boys across the island of Ireland. Indeed, Saturday, June 19th year has been dedicated as men’s health ‘Pledge Day’.
On this day, everyone is asked to:
- Think about what thing (or things) they might do that could make a difference to their own, or someone else’s health and wellbeing.
- Make a pledge for change to themselves, and commit to action.
- Tell others about their plans, and use #MensHealthWeek with any social media posts / uploads / video clips / images.
Pledges can be as simple or complex as you like. For example, I’m going to:
- walk-and-talk with my kids at least once a week;
- use the stairs to my office rather than take the lift;
- only have chips once a week from now on;
- avoid having a drink except on a Saturday;
- seek support to help me stop smoking;
- organise a regular kick-about for the lads at lunch break;
- encourage my partner to check out that lump that’s been bothering him;
- offer free men’s health checks to users of our pharmacy;
- produce a men’s health leaflet for my employees;
- display a list of local helplines / support services for men in the canteen;
- make time to go for a health MOT/ NCT
The week as always has different themed days and HSE Social team will be sharing different messages each day to support these themes.
- Monday, June 14th: Healthy relationships / staying connected / tackling loneliness
- Tuesday, June 15th: Physical health / activity
- Wednesday, June 16th: Mental fitness
- Thursday, June 17th: Giving to others / volunteering / helping to make a difference
- Friday, June 18th: The importance of prevention / early detection / healthy lifestyle
- Saturday, June 19th: Pledge to action day
- Sunday, June 20th: Fathers, fatherhood and males in caring roles
Remember there are different supports available, from online programmes like Minding Your Wellbeing or Stress Control, to QUIT.ie and AskAboutAlcohol.ie. There are also tips on getting healthy and eating healthier.
In addition, HSE Health & Wellbeing have launched a series of exercise videos such as Pilates for Beginners and Yoga for Beginners. Further information on all these resources is available at www.hse.ie/healthandwellbeing