Men’s Health Week kicked off this week in Ireland and spans from the 13th to the 19th of June. This is an important week as, according to the HSE, men (compared to women) have limited contact with GPs and are reluctant users of primary care services. This means that their illnesses have a longer time to progress before they seek help from medical professionals.
When it comes to health and well-being, men often face unique challenges that require specific attention and support. From physical health concerns to mental well-being, addressing the issues affecting men’s health is crucial for building a healthier society.
Recognising this, MHW has emerged as a powerful initiative to raise awareness and encourage men to take charge of their well-being. In this blog, we will delve into the significance of Men’s Health Week in Ireland, exploring the need for men’s health awareness, highlighting the activities during the week, and showcasing its impact on Irish society.
Understanding the Need for Men’s Health Awareness
Men’s health week is a week that is celebrated in a lot of European countries along with North America and Oceania.
The primary aim of Men’s health week is:
Heighten awareness of preventable health problems
Support both men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices
Encourage early detection and treatment of health difficulties
With each year having a set theme, 2023 is no different. This year for Ireland, the theme is ‘The Picture of Health’. This is a call for men to see what health looks like for them and to encourage them to take account of their health.
Overshadowing of Men’s Health
Men’s health is often overshadowed by various factors, including societal expectations, cultural norms, and a lack of open conversations. However, it is essential to shed light on the health challenges faced by men and break the stigma surrounding their well-being.
Statistics reveal that men have higher mortality rates for leading causes of death, such as heart disease, cancer, and suicide. Factors like lower health-seeking behaviours, delayed medical help, and higher occupational risks contribute to these disparities. By raising awareness, Men’s Health Week aims to address these issues and foster positive change.
Activities and Initiatives During Men’s Health Week
Men’s Health Week offers a range of activities and initiatives to engage men and the wider community. Health screenings and check-ups play a significant role in identifying potential health issues and encouraging early intervention.
Additionally, awareness campaigns and public events educate individuals about the importance of physical and mental health, covering topics such as exercise, nutrition, stress management, and emotional well-being. These can be found by googling your location and the term ‘men’s health week activities’.
Educational programs and workshops provide valuable information on disease prevention, healthy lifestyle choices, and support networks available to men. By bringing together healthcare professionals, organizations, and the community, Men’s Health Week fosters an environment of support and empowerment.
Engaging Men in the Conversation
Many men are reluctant to speak out about their general health and well-being, which is why this week is so important. Breaking the silence surrounding men’s health is a crucial step towards promoting well-being.
Men’s Health Week encourages open discussions about health concerns, advocating for a holistic approach to well-being. By challenging cultural expectations and societal norms, the initiative aims to create a safe space for men to express their emotions, seek help, and actively engage in their own health management.
Sharing success stories of individuals who have overcome challenges can inspire others to take proactive steps towards a healthier lifestyle. This step brings them into the conversation and encourages them to open up more than they would typically.
Supporting Men’s Health Beyond Men’s Health Week
While Men’s Health Week provides a concentrated period of awareness and action, it is essential to maintain momentum throughout the year. Creating lasting changes in men’s health attitudes requires continuous advocacy for policy changes, increased funding for research and programs, and ongoing education and awareness campaigns.
By promoting a long-term commitment to men’s health, we can ensure sustained improvements in well-being and a shift towards healthier lifestyles. It only takes a small change to make a big difference in someone’s life.
Ways to Make a positive change
It can be difficult to know where to start when thinking about a positive change. Instead of thinking about the overall impact it will have on your, narrow it down more. Men often-times have unaddressed mental health issues, including extreme stress, depression, and anxiety. They refuse to speak out a lot of the time as it goes against their image of ‘societal norms’, so what is one step they can take to start that positive change?
When we talk about regular exercise, we don’t mean the way a lot of men partake in exercise, which is another extreme. Regular exercise, such as taking a walk, or swimming a few lengths in the pool, does the same job that a hard workout that focuses on building muscle will.
Take the pressure out of the exercise and go on a mental health walk. Go to the gym and make use of the sauna and pool to relax. Attend a workout class for a sense of community and camaraderie. There are so many ways to take that first step that will have a direct impact on the overall well-being of men. Partaking in these helps to:
It’s easy to get caught up in the standard routine of every day, but taking a half hour to go to the gym and workout, will go a long way in reducing stress. Working out helps mental and physical health but is often overlooked. So take the half hour, find your local gym plus and work on reducing the stress that has accumulated throughout the day.
Another part of working out that helps is mental clarity. Clearing the clutter from our minds is vital for making positive changes. Exercise provides that as it resets your mind and allows your body to shrug off the bad day or week that you may be going through.
Want to exercise, but again, you don’t know how to make that first step? Gym Plus has many personal trainers on hand, all ready to help you with everything you need. They will create a workout plan that suits your needs, whether that is just an easy workout routine or if you want to focus on a particular aspect of fitness; the Gym Plus personal trainers are there to help.
Becoming part of a community
During Men’s Health Week, the most important aspect we can emphasise is becoming part of a community. Many times men have issues as they do not have a community to support them, and finding that community can be even more difficult. Joining Gym Plus takes the stress away as we welcome anyone who comes through our doors, and everyone feels included in our gyms. Find your local gym today and get started on becoming part of the community!
Men’s Health Week in Ireland serves as a powerful platform for raising awareness, promoting well-being, and breaking the silence surrounding men’s health. By addressing the unique challenges faced by men and fostering open discussions, this week-long event creates a positive change in Irish society.
From health screenings and awareness campaigns to educational programs and workshops, Men’s Health Week offers a comprehensive approach to men’s health and encourages men to prioritize their well-being. Let’s actively participate, support, and spread awareness about Men’s Health Week, ensuring a healthier future for men in Ireland and beyond.