Lifestyle

Men's Health Week aims to raise awareness of preventable problems

International Men's Health Week kicks off today (Monday June 13th) and runs until Father's Day next Sunday.

The annual celebration aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems, support men and boys to live healthier lives, and encourage them to seek help or treatment at an early stage.

In recent years, a broad range of research has highlighted the challenges which face males in Ireland and further afield. Many of the key statistics show that:

  • Men continue to die, on average, younger than women do
  • Poor lifestyles (including smoking, drinking, diet and lack of exercise) are responsible for a large proportion of chronic diseases
  • Males have higher death rates than women for almost all of the leading causes of death, and at all ages
  • Men’s mental health needs are often under the radar and remain unmet
  • Late presentation to health services can lead to a number of problems becoming untreatable

Dr Noel Richardson, Director of the National Centre for Men’s Health in South East Technological University (SETU), says:

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“For me, the key message for Men's Health Week is that small things can really make a difference - whether it's going for a walk, taking time out, re-connecting with a friend. It's about doing something positive for yourself and building momentum towards positive change, one step at a time.”

How Men's health can be improved

The year, organisers of Men's Health Week have played on the theme of the Mission Impossible movie franchise,  "your mission, should you choose to accept it, is.." with men and boys on the island of Ireland being asked to accept their own personal health challenge. The idea is to focus on small, simple and practical things to improve their health, for example:

  • Find out about the opening hours at you local GP surgery and visit them if they have any concerns regarding your health.
  • Make at least one journey by foot or bicycle each day instead of going by car.
  • Try some fruit or vegetables you've never tasted before or think they don’t like.
  • Re-connect with family and friends.
  • Join a group or take up a sport.
  • Find a friend to quit smoking with and seek advice on how to stop.
  • Get your blood pressure checked.
  • Reflect on your own mental fitness ...

Paul Ferris, Men’s Health Week 2022 Ambassador, ex-professional footballer with Newcastle United, and award winning author, comments:

From my personal experience of living with health and wellbeing issues, I appreciate that men and boys need both opportunities to improve their health, as well as support to do so. Men’s Health Week offers an ideal time to focus our attention upon the needs of males, and to make a positive and meaningful difference to their lives.

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You'll find out more on Men's Health Week here.

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