Men’s Health

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 in Numbers

Cover of Men's Health in Numbers study











The Men’s Health Forum undertook ‘Men’s Health in Numbers’, funded by the Health Service Executive’s Health and Wellbeing Division, which sought to produce:

  1. A comprehensive Trends Report that describes, in detail, changes in significant markers of men’s health on the island of Ireland in the last twenty years.
  2. An infographically-driven Men’s Health Report Card that provides a lay person’s synopsis of contemporary key men’s health statistics in the Republic of Ireland.

You can view the resulting report on this project or watch the webinar below:

  • 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!

    More Resources:

    The Man Manual – Challenges and Choices

    Are you ready for Men’s Health Week? Take the Agent Mann Challenge to find out!

    Men’s Health Week 2023 Launch Webinar

    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:

  • 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.

    Cardiovascular disease

    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

    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.

    Find out what you can do to reduce your risk

    Additional information

    Respiratory disease

    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.

    Find out more about respiratory disease


    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.

    For mental health support and information visit AWARE NI or AMH.

    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
  • Resources

    Useful links:

    Directory of services to help improve mental health and emotional wellbeing

    Men’s Health Directory

    Men’s Health in Northern Ireland: Tackling the root cause of mental (ill) health

    E male matters newsletter

    MaleMenu – information on topics directly affecting men

    Tips for a Healthy Summer 

    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

    Man Matters 

    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.