06/08/2021

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Kilkenny men challenged to ‘check-in, check-up, check it out’ during Men’s Health Week 2021

'Men, on the island of Ireland, suffer a disproportionate burden of ill health and die too young'

KILKENNY

Men's Health Week 2021 starts today

Everyone - men, families, communities, service providers, employers, sporting bodies, churches and policy makers - is being urged to take action to improve the health of men and boys on the island of Ireland by ‘Making the Connections’ as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

That’s the message from the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) as the final countdown to International Men’s Health Week begins. Running from today (Monday) to Sunday, June 20 (Father’s Day), this 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.

Recent research (‘Men’s Health in Numbers’) from the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland clearly maps the state of men’s health in Ireland. Michael Lynch, Chairperson of MHFI, comments:

“The findings from this research provide some cause for optimism, along with some grounds for concern. Male life expectancy is increasing; the majority of men across the island of Ireland rate their health as good or very good; the 5-year net survival rate for males with cancer has increased; the proportion of male deaths due to circulatory diseases is falling; the
number of males dying by suicide across the island has decreased; fewer men now smoke …

"But this needs to be seen in context: the number of cases of prostate cancer has increased, the rate of male diagnoses of gonorrhoea has risen; male obesity and weight is becoming a serious concern; and Covid-19 has had a major impact upon the lives of men and boys. However, one of the most worrying concerns is that incidence rates of disease and chronic conditions are, mostly, higher within areas of deprivation.”

This is why the call to action is:

 CHECK IN with yourself to see how you are coping / feeling, and to identify any health
worries that you might have.
 CHECK UP on your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues to see how they’re doing
and to offer your support.
 CHECK IT OUT and seek information / help / support / treatment as soon as possible if
you notice anything worrying or which needs medical attention.

“Men, on the island of Ireland, suffer a disproportionate burden of ill health and die too young. However, this is not a lost cause, and much can be - and is being - done to change this situation," says Colin Fowler, Director of Operations for MHFI.

"Men’s Health Week offers an ideal time to focus our attention upon the needs of men and boys, and to make a positive difference to their lives. There are lots of ways to mark this week: put up a poster; use one of the graphics on your emails; post about the week on social media using the hashtag #MensHealthWeek; join-in an event.However, perhaps the most practical thing that everyone can do is to join with others on

‘Pledge Day’ (Saturday, June19), and commit themselves to a simple and realistic action which will improve their own health and/or the health of men and boys generally. Everyone can play their part.”

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