In most parts of the world, health outcomes among boys and men continue to be substantially worse than among girls and women (WHO,2014). There is growing awareness and concern about the burden of ill health experienced by men in Northern Ireland (MHFI, 2011). Life expectancy at birth in 2015 – 2017 was 78.5 years for males and 82.3 years for females. Healthy life expectancy at birth in 2015 – 2017 was 59.1 years for males and 60.3 years for females (DOH, 2018).
- 20% of males smoke. (down from 25% in 2010/2011)
17% of females smoke. (down from 23% in 2010/2011)
- Over four-fifths of males (83%) were drinkers with a tenth of males (9%) reporting that they thought they drank quite a lot or heavily. Almost a fifth of male drinkers (16%) drank on 3 or more days per week.
Three-quarters of females (76%) were drinkers, with (2%) reporting that they thought they drank quite a lot of heavily. A tenth of female drinkers (10%) drank on 3 or more days per week.
- 42% of males were overweight.
32% of females were overweight. (DOH, 2020)
- Suicide rates per 100,000 people in UK and Ireland was reported at 28 Men in Northern Ireland.
Suicide rates per 100,000 people in UK and Ireland was reported at 9.5 Women in Northern Ireland. (Samaritans 2019)
Men's Health Week 2023
International Men’s Health Week (MHW) always begins on the Monday before Father’s Day and ends on Father’s Day itself. During 2023, it will run from Monday 12th until Sunday 18th June.
The overall aims of MHW are to:
- Heighten awareness of preventable health problems for males of all ages.
- Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices/activities.
- Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males.
But why is there a need to hold a Men’s Health Week?
Males constitute almost 50% of the population on the island of Ireland and, therefore, deserve to have a gender lens focused upon their specific health needs. Research clearly hows that these men experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young …
- Local men die younger than women do.
- Males have higher death rates than females for almost all of the leading causes of death and at all ages.
- Men’s poorer lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases.
- Late presentation to health services can lead to a large number of problems becoming untreatable
Indeed, while many of these conditions are preventable, their prevalence amongst men may, in fact, rise in the future.
During 2023, the MHW theme for Ireland will be ‘The Picture of Health’ and the call to men (and those who support the health of men) will be what does that look like to you?
All too often we set ourselves unrealistic or impractical targets. However, this year, everyone is being asked to set themselves a simple goal(s) to improve the health of men, and to go for it!
Keep up to date with the latest MHW news:
Men's Health in the South Eastern HSC Trust area
South East Men’s Health Forum was established in 2015. The group supports the development of new approaches to engage with and inform men about health issues, provides a forum for sharing information on local initiatives and identifies local need. The aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of men, the group is affiliated to Men’s Health Forum Ireland. To date the Forum has organised four Men’s Health Week Campaigns, 2 Men’s Health Conferences and Engage Training for those working with men.
For further information please contact Brien Frazer, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What are the threats to men's health?
Women outlive men, and that gap is widening. On average, women outlive men by more than five years.
The Office of National Statistics reports the following as the leading causes of male deaths in the UK from 2001 to 2018.
In Northern Ireland today, 225,000 people live with CVD. Around 19% of all premature deaths in Northern Ireland – 1,100 a year – are caused by CVD.
Information on signs and symptoms along with preventative advice can be found HERE.
Every year around 6,840 men in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with cancer. Up to half of all cancers can be prevented with a healthier lifestyle.
Cancer Focus NI has a wide range of cancer prevention services to help make better choices for healthy lifestyles.
Cerebrovascular disease refers to a group of conditions, diseases, and disorders that affect the blood vessels and blood supply to the brain.
In Northern Ireland, around 4,000 people every year have a stroke while around 36,000 people are living with the long term effects of stroke.
Respiratory diseases affect parts of the body involved with breathing, like the lungs and airways. These include asthma, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, and pneumonia, amongst others.
Respiratory illnesses accounted for 14% of all deaths recorded in NI last year.
Suicide statistics provide an indicator of mental health. Provisional data collected by the ONS between 2001 to 2018 indicated suicide and injury or poisoning of undetermined intent was the leading cause of death for males aged 20 to 34 years in the UK, for all years observed, accounting for 27.1% of deaths.
Lifeline is the Northern Ireland crisis response helpline for people who are experiencing distress or despair, you can contact them on 0808 808 8000
For more information on men’s health please contact:
- Male Domestic abuse’
Aim of Men’s Health Week
The aims of Men’s Health Week are to:
- Heighten awareness of preventable health problems of males of all ages
- Support men and boys to engage in healthier lifestyle choices and activities
- Encourage the early detection and treatment of health difficulties in males
We also hope to encompass ‘Take 5’ ways to wellbeing;
- Connect with peers and friends and build connections
- Learn something new, or revive an old skill
- Take notice of the seasons and sense the environment around you
- Be active, play a game, swim, cycle or dance
- Give a simple gift every day e.g. a smile, a nod, volunteer to help someone
Other sources of information:
Men’s Advisory Project
For men experiencing domestic abuse and relationship breakdown
Telephone: (028) 9024 1929
Cancer Focus – Man Alive on site screening bus
Telephone: (028) 9066 3281
Telephone: (028) 9032 9718
International Men's Day
The SEHSCT are members of the Men’s health forum for Ireland and work in partnership with organisations across the island of Ireland each year to develop a campaign for both men’s health week and international men’s day each year.
- Information on International Men’s Day can be found here.
- To learn more about the core elements that make for successful work with boys and men around mental health promotion, early intervention and stigma reduction you can read this document.
- Watch International Men’s Day 2021 webinar ‘Turning it Around’.