International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.Â During 2017, it ran from Monday 12th until Sunday 18th June.
It is celebrated in most European countries, as well as in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and a number of other places worldwide.Â The overall aims of MHW are to:
- Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.
- Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices / activities.
- Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
Each year, there is also a focus upon a specific theme.Â During 2017, the theme for the island of Ireland was: â€˜Itâ€™s all about HIMâ€™, and the key question was: â€˜how are you doing?â€™
There is certainly a need to ask this, 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.
Men's Health Week 2017 - A Toolbox for ActionÂ (PDF, 636KB)
Why focus upon 'It's all about HIM'
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 In recent years, a broad range of research has highlighted the health challenges 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) ...
Although the health of men in Ireland is poor, it can be improved in many significant ways.Â 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 Menâ€™s Health Policy which has now been suceeded by the Healthy Ireland - Men Action Plan; the â€˜Engageâ€™ Menâ€™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 menâ€™s health ...Â Much has been achieved, but there is room for more.
But 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, service providers, and society as a whole to recognise the role that they need to play, and to do something practical about it.Â This will require focusing our attention upon the â€˜HIMsâ€™ all around us.
The starting point for this yearâ€™s conversation about improving the health of males was to answer the question: â€˜How are you doing?â€™...Â If the answer was â€˜not very wellâ€™, 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.Â MHW 2017 offered a launch pad to do this.
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.
Planning Group for Men's Health Week 2017
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2017 in Ireland was planned by a broad range of partners who contributed to an all-island inter-agency Planning Group.Â This body began meeting in January 2017 and members had ongoing communication with each other.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.Â 'It's all about HIM') offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate, and the planning process for 2017 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...
- Action Cancer
- Action Mental Health
- Alcohol Action Ireland
- Ardoyne and Shankill Healthy Living Centre
- ARK (Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster)
- Belfast Community Sports Development Network
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
- Belfast Men's Health Week Action Group
- Belfast City Council - Health Development Unit
- British Medical Association (NI)
- Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
- CIE - Staff Health Promotion
- Closing the Gap Project: Health Inequalities
- Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
- County Down Rural Community Network
- Down Community Arts
- Dublin City University School of Nursing
- East Belfast Sure Start
- Focus: The Identity Trust
- Football Association of Ireland (FAI)
- Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA)
- Get Ireland Walking
- Health Service Executive - Health Promotion and Improvement
- Institute of Public Health in Ireland
- Institute of Technology Carlow
- Irish Cancer Society
- Irish Football Association (IFA)
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Menâ€™s Sheds Association
- Irish Pharmacy Union
- Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU)
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Mayo North East Leader
- Men About The Town (MATT)
- Menâ€™s Action Network (MAN)
- Men's Advisory Project (MAP)
- Menâ€™s Development Network (MDN)
- Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI)
- Mental Health Ireland
- Migraine Association of Ireland
- Mojo Project
- National Centre for Men's Health
- National Screening Service
- National Youth Council of Ireland
- North Belfast Men's Shed
- North Down Community Network
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke
- North West Regional College Studentsâ€™ Union
- NUI Galway
- Paul Hogan Therapy
- Pavee Point Traveller Menâ€™s Health
- Queen's University Belfast School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Ireland
- Samaritans Ireland
- See Change
- Shoot Positive - Carrie Davenport Photography
- South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
- Southern Area Men's Health Group
- Southern Health & Social Care Trust
- Sport Ireland
- Sport NI
- Sustrans NI
- State of Mind Ireland
- Union of Students in Ireland
- Waterford Sports Partnership
- Western Health & Social Care Trust
- YouthAction NI - Work with Young Men Unit
- Plus individual counsellors, therapists and activists ...
Poster for Menâ€™s Health Week 2017
To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2017, a poster was designed.Â There were three types of poster available - hard copy A3 size (x 1,000), hard copy A4 size (x 5,000), and online electronic files.Â The electronic files came in a range of sizes and formatsÂ suitable for a variety of uses.
Copies of the online 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 2017 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place.Â Although this cost nothing to do, it made a big difference to promoting the week!
Postcard for Men's Health Week 2017
Every year since 2014, there has been a Men's Health Week (MHW) postcard to publicise the week.Â These cards can be displayedÂ as small flyers in public spaces and are often sent by organisations to the men that they have contact with.Â Â This has proved to be a very successful means of letting local men know about the week.
In the lead-up to MHW 2017, 10,000 postcards were made available to anyone who wished to use themÂ to promote the week.Â The front of the postcard was a smaller version of the poster image, and the back had a pre-written message which said:
You might have already heard about this, but International Men's Health Week 2017 begins on Monday 12th June and lasts until Sunday 18th June.
During this week, EVERYONE is asked to focus upon the health and wellbeing needs of men and boys.Â By the way, how are you doing yourself? â€¦
Have a great week and, if you can, try to do something to make a positive difference to both your own health and the health of those around you.Â For inspiration, check out: www.mhfi.org/mhw2017celebrateit.pdf
Have a good one!
Who are the Menâ€™s Health Week â€˜Poster Boysâ€™ for 2017?
Every year, local men are featured on the posters and publicity materials to publicise Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW).Â Sometimes it is famous local men (e.g. last year, Michael Oâ€™Neill [Northern Ireland Team Manager] and Martin Oâ€™Neill [Republic of Ireland Team Manager] agreed to be the â€˜poster boysâ€™ for MHW during the â€˜Euro 2016â€™ championship) and sometimes it is just ordinary guys.
During MHW 2017, we were pleased to welcome men and boys of all ages and backgrounds to our poster.Â The line-up this year was comprised of â€¦
- Back Row:
- Paul Oâ€™Kane, Joe McCusker, Jonny Ashe and Jonathan Boyd
- Front Row:
- Jonathan and Cleo Wallace, David McLearnon, Mehedi Hasan, Jamie Ashe, Cailan and Acheron Thompson.
The all-island Planning Group is very grateful to Common Grounds Fairtrade CafÃ© in University Avenue, Belfast for allowing us to take photographs in their premises, and to East Belfast Sure Start, North Belfast Menâ€™s Shed, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Focus: The Identity Trust and the Working with Young Men Team in YouthAction NI for recruiting people for the photographs.
Menâ€™s Health Week 2017 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 are available for free downloading at: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html
This page offers generic MHW images, new resources created specifically for MHW 2017, as well as the ones used in previous years.Â There is a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a FacebookÂ banner, a poster, a badge 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 ...
'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual
Research clearly shows that there are many challenges to be faced when seeking to improve menâ€™s health.Â However, it also highlights that menâ€™s health can be improved in many significant ways - if the right choices are made.Â Men, themselves, have a key role to play in this process.
One of the most successful and sought after elements of Menâ€™s Health Week 2016 was the â€˜Challenges and Choicesâ€™ Man Manual which was distributed free-of-charge to males throughout the whole island of Ireland.Â Almost all of the 47,000 hard copies of this booklet were given out within a few weeks of their release.
The â€˜Challenges and Choicesâ€™ booklet is a male-friendly, 32 page publication, which highlights ten key menâ€™s health issues i.e. alcohol, food, physical activity, smoking, stress, blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, skin cancers, back care and help-seeking behaviour.Â It was written by leading menâ€™s health expert Dr Ian Banks (internationally acclaimed menâ€™s health author, President of the European Menâ€™s Health Forum, the British Medical Associationâ€™s Spokesperson on Menâ€™s Health, and a resident of Northern Ireland).
This Manual: issues a realistic and practical challenge to improve the readerâ€™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 2017, 12,200 updated copies of this publication were made available to men throughout the island of Ireland.Â These were funded by the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland.Â To see what the Man Manual looks like, click here.
Unfortunately, all of the hard copies of the Man Manual have now been given out and they are no longer available.
How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2017 news
Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2017 by checking out our Facebook (www.facebook.com/MensHealthWeek) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/MensHealthIRL) sites.Â They were also encouraged toÂ click on the â€˜LIKEâ€™ / 'FOLLOW' buttons, and to send these links to all their friends.
People who are into social media, were asked to tweet about MHW using the hashtag #MHW2017
The focus for MHW 2017 (i.e. â€˜It's all about HIMâ€™) 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 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 very welcome!
Some people had the time, energy and resources to plan something big.Â 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/mhw2017celebrateit.pdfÂ (PDF, 654KB)
Raise the profile of Men's Health Week 2017 - Get Tweeting!
Menâ€™s health issues and needs are numerous and complicated.Â 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!Â However, when preparing for Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2017, 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.Â These were ...
- Friday 9th JuneÂ -Â Menâ€™s Health Week is Coming! â€¦Â Hereâ€™s what you need to know
- Saturday 10th JuneÂ -Â Top Tips for Menâ€™s Mental Fitness
- Sunday 11th JuneÂ -Â Keeping your Heart Healthy
- Monday 12th JuneÂ -Â Input and Output â€¦Â Men, Food and Physical Activity
- Tuesday 13th JuneÂ -Â Trash the Ash â€¦Â Men and Smoking
- Wednesday 14th JuneÂ -Â One More for the Road? â€¦Â Men and Alcohol
- Thursday 15th JuneÂ -Â Men Overcoming Cancer
- Friday 16th JuneÂ -Â Men and Sexual Health
- Saturday 17th JuneÂ -Â Men and Healthy Relationships
- Sunday 18th JuneÂ -Â 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.Â During Menâ€™s Health Week 2017, everyone was encouraged to â€˜Postâ€™ and â€˜Tweetâ€™ about it and, when possible, to use the hashtag: #MHW2017
For those people who would like to support MHW 2017 using their own social media channels - but 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.Â There were lots of message options presented for each day of MHW, and these related to the theme for that day.Â Everyone was invited to use them all, or pick and choose the ones that suited themsleves / their organisation / their location.Â 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.Â This also offered an easy and free way to show support for MHW.
Tell others about your Menâ€™s Health Week 2017 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 can include health checks, conferences, launches, games, seminars, competitions, workshops, courses, displays, health fairs, workplace mailouts ...Â Whatever the activity, everyone was encouraged to submit their details.
There were three ways to let us know about what was happening:
- Submit details using the online formÂ or ...
- Download and save a copy of the MS Word Registration Form, type in the details, and email it back to us, or ...
- Print off a copy of the Portable Document Format (PDF) Registration Form, handwrite the details, and post it back to us.