In collaboration with the Men’s Health Forum Ireland (MHFI) and other parties, the HSE is marking men’s mental health week (MHW), which takes place from 12 to 18 June.

This year’s theme for MHW is ‘The Picture of Health’ and the call-out to men (and those who support the health of men) will be 'what does that look like to you?'

To coincide with the beginning of MHW, the HSE is providing a free webinar on Monday 12 June at noon, with special guest Dr Mark Rowe.

Mark is an expert in positive health and lifestyle medicine, as well as being a medical doctor, author, TedX speaker and vitality expert.

Research doesn’t lie

A report carried out by the MHFI in 2020 shows that men experience a disproportionate burden of ill health and die too young.

The key findings of the research, carried out Dr Paula Devine and Dr Erin Early from ARK, also outlined:

  • Males die younger than females do.
  • Males have higher death rates than females for almost all of the leading causes of death and at all ages.
  • Men’s poorer lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases.
  • Late presentation to health services can lead to a large number of problems becoming untreatable.
  • Taking control of mental health

    “While some aspects of our health are determined by things which are beyond our control [such as genetics, our income, the environment that we live in and our access to services], there are also simple, practical and realistic things which we can all do to improve our health and live a longer life,” said Dr Noel Richardson of the HSE and senior lecturer and director of healthCORE at IT Carlow.

    He continues: “This year, we are asking men to reflect on what the picture of health looks like to them.

    "All too often, we set ourselves unrealistic or impractical targets. However, this year, everyone is being asked to set themselves a simple goal or more to improve the health of men, and to go for it!”

    What you need to know about MHW 2023

    Each day of this year’s MHW has been allocated a specific theme to encourage people from across Ireland to get involved and promote mental health among men.

  • Monday 12 June: trash the ash [quitting smoking].
  • Tuesday 13 June: prevention is better than cure.
  • Wednesday 14 June: food for thought [healthy eating].
  • Thursday 15 June: what do you depend on? [a focus on addictions such as alcohol, gambling, drugs, sex, and internet access].
  • Friday 16 June: mental fitness.
  • Saturday 17 June: let’s get physical - be more than a sports spectator [physical activity for all].
  • Sunday 18 June: Father’s Day [the important role that fathers play in ensuring that their children have healthy lives].
  • Coming together to support each other

    HSE Health & Wellbeing general manager, head of stakeholder engagement and communications Fergal Fox said: “The strength of the week is that everyone can get involved and do something to support men and boys' health.

    "Over 95 agencies are involved in the all-island planning group with the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, all doing various activities in communities and online to bring the week to life for people.”

    Fergal added: “Many HSE staff work to promote men’s health week with their service users and work with their local partner agencies to raise awareness about activities in their areas.”

    To register for the free webinar, click here.

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