Men's Health Week
International Men’s Health Week 2019 starts on 10 June
Men’s Health Week is 25 years old this year! It began in the U.S. in 1994 following a Senate Joint Resolution to establish the Week by Senator Bob Dole. President Clinton signed the bill on 31 May. The Week was linked to Father’s Day in the U.S. (the Week always ends on that Day, the third Sunday in June) and it became an international event in 2002 when it was first marked in the UK. It has since been adopted in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and beyond. The Week provides an opportunity for a wide range of organizations and individuals to draw attention to the poor state of men’s health, organize activities that engage men, and advocate changes to health policy and practice. In short, it puts men’s health on the map both nationally and globally.
During Men’s Health Week, GAMH will be raising global men’s health issues via social media, blogs and articles. There will a particular focus on men and self-care, using the findings of our recent report, Who Self-Care Wins.
We will also be sharing information about the Men’s Health Week activities of our member organisations and supporting their work through the provision of data, information and messages of support.
This is the latest information we have on our members’ plans:
FFCMH is a research-intensive organisation and will be publishing some key papers about men’s health, including on prostate cancer, sleep and neurological disorders. These papers will highlight some of the inter-relationships between different factors. The research will be promoted to the research community and health professionals. FFCMH has a men’s health ambassador who is a player in the Australian football league and during MHW he will attend screening events in community settings to help encourage uptake. A media statement on a men’s health topic will also be issued.
MHIRC’s theme for MHW is ‘Keeping boys and men healthy’. The approach will be national with a focus not primarily on encouraging individual men to change their behaviours but on changing the way services, especially GP services, are delivered so that more men can access them. MHIRC will also be encouraging positive contact between boys and men and more learning and support between Indigenous and non-Indigenous men. Finally, successful examples of suicide prevention programmes will be promoted, with the focus on tackling the causes of male suicide, and MHIRC will promote greater collaboration between the agencies involved in this field.
CMHF’s work will focus on direct-to-consumer activities using the dontchangemuch.ca website. During MHW, CMHF will seek to promote men’s use of the site by boosting its search engine profile and by working with other organisations, including employers, to promote the services to their male audiences. The overall theme for MHW will be men’s health in the workplace and CMHF will be producing video content and tips for male employees.
MHF’s MHW activities are not supported by the government which means that work will be limited. MHF will work with Federal Forum for Men to decide what can feasibly delivered during the Week but the activities will include publication of a new health guide (number 26, on male incontinence, with a circulation of 10k copies financed through sponsorship), information on the MHF and FFM websites about health topics, and men’s health information on an online platform for physicians. There will also be information for careers of men, including men in nursing homes.
MHFI’s planning for MHW started in November 2018 when it convened an all-Ireland planning group. The focus in 2019 will be Men’s Health Matters with the strapline ‘Make the Time, Take the Time for Your Health’. 80 partnership organisations are no board to help disseminate the key messages. A poster has been produced based on a mosaic image of a very large number of men and also some animations for use on social media. On each day during MHW, social media will focus on a different topics, such as heart health, smoking, physical activity and alcohol. MHF also encourages other organisations to run MHW events and helps to promote them.
CMH is a small organisation but will organise some local activities and seek to generate national interest. An afternoon film and discussion event will be held in collaboration with the Centre of Ageing Research Excellence in a Dunedin museum to help raise awareness. Similar events have in the past generated interest and media coverage. CMH might also develop an online quiz to test men’s knowledge of health issues.
MHF’s theme for MHW is Unequal Men. It will be highlighting the needs of groups of men facing particular disadvantage. A new Man Manual will be launched and materials for organisations will be available for download. MHF will also provide resources from previous MHWs because some organisations prefer to focus on themes covered in the past. There will also be social media activity.
In the USA, MHW is part of Men’s Health Month. In MHW specifically, MHN will be holding a Twitterchat (the focus is still to be finalised – previous years have covered mental health and sexual health – and MHN will reach out for international participation). There will be a three-day screening event in Congress, which is expected to reach up to 700 men (Congress members and staffers), and a workout for Congressional members and staffers led by the leader of the Congressional Men’s Health Congress who is a former MMA fighter. The Congressional events provide a good focus for media activity. Friday 14 June is Wear Blue Day for men’s health. MHN will also organise a radio and TV media tour to talk about men’s health and how women can assist men to go to the doctor. MHN will be highlighting that 2019 is the 25th anniversary of MHW.
Promundo will focus on disseminating two new reports on masculine norms and health. Masculine Norms and Men’s Health: Making the Connections provides an overview of the current state of men’s health globally and illustrates the direct connections between health-risk behaviours (including poor diet, substance use, occupational hazards, unsafe sex, and limited health-seeking behaviour) and salient masculine norms. The Cost of the Man Box: A study on the economic impacts of harmful masculine stereotypes in the US, UK, and Mexico reveals that ‘man up’ stereotypes – and the harmful behaviors they lead to – cost the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico billions each year. The study presents six key outcomes or consequences that show strong statistical links to harmful masculine stereotypes and have measurable societal and economic costs. These include: traffic accidents, suicide, depression, sexual violence, bullying and violence, and binge drinking.
PCEC will be working through Men’s Health Month to encourage men to take charge of their health by going to the doctor when necessary, eating right, being active, etc. Women will be encouraged to support men to see the doctor. PCEC will also organise screening events and media activity.
Information on what is happening during Men’s Health Week around the world is also available here.
25 April 2019