International Men's Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father's Day and ends on Father's Day itself.Â During 2016, it ran from Monday 13th until Sunday 19th 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 The theme for 2016 in Ireland was: 'Men United - for Health and Wellbeing' and the key question that was asked is 'are we winning?'
There is certainly a need to do 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.
'We are celebrating Men's Health Week 2016 because ...' - video clips from Irish organisations
Men's Health Week 2016 - A Toolbox for ActionÂ (PDF, 529KB)
Why should we focus upon 'Men United - for Health and Wellbeing?
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; the â€˜Engageâ€™ Menâ€™s Health Training Programme has influenced how services and structures support males; new innovative and pioneering initiatives have been developed which provide a model 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 a coordinated and collaborative approach.
There is little doubt that more progress can be made when everyone pulls in the same direction.Â â€˜Men United - for Health and Wellbeingâ€™ captures the essence of this movement.Â It calls upon everyone to ask themselves / their organisations the basic question: â€˜Are we winning?â€™ ...Â If this is not the case, then we need to consider joining with other people to do something that will make a positive difference to the health and wellbeing of men and boys throughout the island of Ireland.Â Men's Health Week (MHW) 2016 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
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2016 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 2016 and had ongoing communication with each other until the week began.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 'Men United - for Health and Wellbeing') offered an opportunity for a very wide range of agencies to participate, and the planning process for 2016 drew upon the insight, expertise, support and contacts of individuals from ...
- Action Cancer
- Alcohol Action Ireland
- ARK (Queen's University Belfast and University of Ulster)
- Belfast Community Sports Development Network
- Belfast Health & Social Care Trust
- British Medical Association (NI)
- Belfast Men's Health Group
- Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
- Closing the Gap Project: Health Inequalities
- Colin Neighbourhood Partnership
- Cruse Bereavement Care
- Dublin City University School of Nursing
- Focus: The Identity Trust
- Football Association of Ireland (FAI)
- Gaelic Athletic Association
- Health Service Executive
- Institute of Public Health in Ireland
- Institute of Technology Carlow
- Irish Cancer Society
- Irish Family Planning Association
- Irish Football Association (IFA)
- Irish Heart Foundation
- Irish Menâ€™s Sheds Association
- Irish Pharmacy Union
- Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU)
- Louth Leader Partnership
- Man Alive
- Marie Keating Foundation
- Mayo North East Leader
- Menâ€™s Action Network (MAN)
- Men's Advisory Project (MAP)
- Menâ€™s Development Network (MDN)
- Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI)
- Men's Health West
- Mental Health Ireland
- National Screening Service
- National Youth Council of Ireland
- Netwell Centre
- NI Medical Studentsâ€™ Committee
- Northern Health and Social Care Trust
- NUI Galway
- Pavee Point Traveller Menâ€™s Health
- Queen's University Belfast School of Nursing and Midwifery
- Relate NI
- 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
- State of Mind Ireland
- Union of Students in Ireland
- Western Health & Social Care Trust
- YouthAction NI - Work with Young Men Unit
- 3fivetwo Training Academy
Poster for Menâ€™s Health Week 2016
To promote Men's Health Week (MHW) 2016, Martin O'Neill (Manager of the Republic of Ireland Football Team) and Michael O'Neill (Manager of the Northern Ireland Football Team) starred in an Ireland-wide poster campaign.
There were three types of poster made available - hard copy A3 size (7,000), hard copy A4 size (1,000), and online electronic files (in a range of sizes and formatsÂ suitable for a variety of uses).Â The online resources could be downloaded from: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-image-pack.html
Even people who didn't have time to do anything else for MHW 2016 were encouraged to put up a poster to let everyone know when it was taking place.Â Although this cost them nothing to do, it did make a big difference to promoting the week!
Postcard for Men's Health Week 2016
Men's Health Week (MHW) 2014 was the first time that Ireland had a postcard to publicise this week.Â These cards were displayedÂ as small flyers in public spaces and were sent by organisations to the men that they have contact with.Â Â ThisÂ proved to be very successful, and was continued during 2015.
In the lead-up to MHW 2016, 12,000 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:
Just a note to let you know that International Men's Health Week 2016 begins on Monday 13th June and lasts until Sunday 19th June.
During this week, EVERYONE is asked to unite and work together to improve the health and wellbeing of men and boys.
However, the big question is: â€˜Are we winning?â€™ ...Â If not, then letâ€™s do something positive to make a difference.
Have a great week, and remember to look after both your own health and that of others.
Who were the Menâ€™s Health Week â€˜Poster Boysâ€™ for 2016?
During Spring, 'Euro 2016 Fever' was building amongst men in Ireland.Â Teams from both parts of the island had progressed to the final stages of the competition, and this really was a unique â€˜Men Unitedâ€™ scenario.Â Indeed, the Euros kicked-off on the Friday before Menâ€™s Health Week began.
During Men's Health Week (MHW) 2016, Michael Oâ€™Neill (Northern Ireland Team Manager) and Martin Oâ€™Neill (Republic of Ireland Team Manager) were the most recognised men in Ireland.Â We were, therefore, delighted that the two managers agreed to be the â€˜poster boysâ€™ for MHW this year, and to be associated with the call for everyone to unite to improve the health and wellbeing of local men and boys.
Martin and Michael acted as the â€˜faceâ€™ of Menâ€™s Health Week 2016 in Ireland, and starred in a nationwide poster and postcard campaign.Â They also appeared on the cover of the free, 32 page, â€˜Challenges and Choicesâ€™ Man Manual which was given to men across the whole island of Ireland.
However, it was not only Michael and Martin who asked the question â€˜are we winning?â€™ during the week.Â Everyone was encouraged to ask themselves / their organisations this question in relation to menâ€™s health and wellbeing.
Menâ€™s Health Week 2016 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 were 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 2016, as well as the ones used in previous years.Â There was a MHW logo in a range of sizes and formats, a FacebookÂ banner, a poster, and even a 'We Support Menâ€™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 ...
'Challenges and Choices' Man Manual
During Men's Health Week (MHW) 2014, the Men's Heath Forum in Ireland printed 10,000 copies of 'Challenges and Choicesâ€™ -Â a free, 32 page, manual for men on the island of Ireland which highlighted a range of key challenges to menâ€™s healthÂ and offered three practical choices for dealing with each condition.Â This booklet was written by Dr Ian Banks (President of the European Menâ€™s Health Forum), and is based upon the highly successful series of â€˜Haynes Manuals for Menâ€™ created by Ian.Â All hard copies of this publication were distributed within days of the launch.Â This was also the case during 2015.
Given the success of this resource, an updated and revised version of 'Challenges and Choices' was produced for MHW 2016.Â This publication was fundedÂ by the Health Service Executive in the Republic of Ireland, the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland, and the Irish Pharmacy Union.Â You can see a low resolution Portable Document Format (PDF, 1.2MB) version of whatÂ it looks like by clicking here.
47,000 copies of the booklet were printed and distributed this year, and many of these were made available in pharmacies in the Republic of Ireland.
How to keep up-to-date with the latest MHW 2016 news
Everyone was invited to keep up-to-date with the latest news on Menâ€™s Health Week (MHW) 2016 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 #MHW2016
The focus for MHW this year (i.e. â€˜Men United - for Health and Wellbeingâ€™) 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 wasÂ 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/mhw2016celebrateit.pdfÂ (PDF, 512KB)
Raise the profile of Men's Health Week 2016 - 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) 2016, 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
Social media (especially Facebook and Twitter) has become a powerful tool for organisations to spread their message.Â During Menâ€™s Health Week 2016, everyone was encouraged to â€˜Postâ€™ and â€˜Tweetâ€™ about it and, when possible, to use the hashtag: #MHW2016
For those people who would like to support MHW 2016 using their own social media channels - but didn't have the time, energy or knowledge to develop their own messages - a document was prepared 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 themselves / their organisation / their location.Â Click here to download the suggestions.
Even loading a few things to their website / Facebook page / Twitter site / other social media platform 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 2016 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 is 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.