Men’s Health Week 2023
13th June, 2023
Men's Health Week is observed annually during the week leading up to Father's Day. This year it is taking place this week, between 12th and 18th June.
The aim of Men’s Health Week is to raise awareness about the health challenges typically faced by men. The initiative is intended to encourage people to talk about their health and in turn is hoped to promote strategies for better physical and mental well-being. It is also designed to give men of all ages access to information and services which will in turn enable them to live a healthier and longer life.
Too frequently, there is negative stigma associated with men’s mental health. Some individuals feel they will be conceived as “weak” for speaking up and accepting they are struggling, others just want to bottle things up and pretend it isn’t happening to them. Research also shows that men are less willing to accept they have a problem and may often try to ignore it and carry on as normal.
Statistics released by the Mental Health Foundation indicate that 1-in-8 men have a common mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression but according to a recent survey conducted by Our Mind’s Work, 28% of men who are struggling with mental health or physical health concerns won’t speak up and instead keep it to themselves. By not opening up and seeking help as needed mental and physical health problems can deteriorate rapidly and unfortunately it often gets to a point where individuals reach breaking point.
According to Samaritans, in 2021 the rate of male suicide was 3 times higher than female suicide. It is clear that more needs to be done to try and encourage men to open up or to access support.
It is vital that we do what we can to break down stigmas and barriers to encourage people to speak up if they need help or are struggling.
What can you do during Men’s Health Week?
- Encourage the men in your life to schedule regular check-ups with their health providers.
- Be more active – engaging in physical activity not only enhances physical health but also supports mental well-being.
- Ask “Are you ok?” – reach out to those you haven’t spoken to for a while and ask them how they are, especially if you have noticed a change in their behaviour. Often this simple question can encourage those who need support to speak out.