Men’s Health Week: who self-cares wins

Men’s Health Week starts on 10 June and is 25 years old this year. It began in the USA in 1994 following a Senate Joint Resolution to establish the Week by Senator Bob Dole. The Week was linked to Father’s Day in the USA (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 has helped hugely to put men’s health on the map both nationally and globally.

During Men’s Health Week 2019, Global Action on Men’s Health will be promoting its recently-published report on men and self-care, Who Self-Cares Wins. The main findings of this report are also covered in a paper in Trends. In the UK specifically, the Men’s Health Forum will be focusing on the impact of inequality and deprivation on men’s health. The theme for Ireland will be ‘Men’s Health Matters’ and the call to action is ‘Make the Time. Take the Time’.

Although male life expectancy has improved significantly over the past 40 years, many men’s health outcomes remain unnecessarily poor, globally, nationally and locally. Average global life expectancy for men lags behind women’s by four years, for example, and there is not a single country where men live longer than women. Around half of the sex difference in mortality from all causes in Europe is due to smoking and one fifth is due to alcohol consumption. Globally, about 45% of male deaths are due to health behaviours. But men’s health remains largely overlooked by health policymakers and practitioners.

The Week provides a great opportunity for a wide range of organisations and individuals to draw attention to the state of men’s health, organise activities that engage men, and advocate changes to health policy and practice.

What will you be doing to mark Men’s Health Week’s silver anniversary? Sharing this information will inform and inspire others as well as help to demonstrate the Week’s impact.

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