Men's Health Week, held from the 13th - 19th June, is designed to give men access to the resources they need to live healthier, longer and more fulfilling lives.
Men’s Health Week, celebrated annually during the week ending on Father’s Day, focuses on the importance of the health and wellness of men. Men’s Health Week provides an opportunity to educate us all about what we can do to improve the state of men’s health while delivering free and convenient health services to men who wouldn’t otherwise receive such care.
Men’s Health Week was created in 1994 to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment amongst men and boys. Prevention requires public awareness and designating a week allows for the spread of information on preventing illnesses affecting males, which includes nationwide events and screenings.
Just over three out of four suicides (76%) are by men and suicide is the biggest cause of death for men under 35. As well as this, men are less likely than women to acknowledge physical or mental illness or to seek help when sick. Health is often socially constructed as a feminine concern.
The theme of this year's Men's Health week is Men's MOT. The idea is that, after the past two years, we all deserve to be happy and healthy. We need to check up on our physical and mental health and check in with our minds and our bodies to see what needs some TLC.
It's time for men everywhere, to give themselves an MOT
The past couple of years have been tough, and although Covid is still very much here, we are beginning to live with it and adapt. To do this, we need to be on top form, mentally and physically.
Why do men need an MOT?
The pandemic has led to other serious conditions being looked over. According to BMJ early stages of cancer diagnoses fell by a third in the first lockdown and this has only continued. Macmillan reckons that around 50,000 of us have missed a cancer diagnosis during the pandemic. Furthermore, male GP visits and overall health check-ups fell more than females. Thus, highlighting the importance of Men's Health Week, we need to keep an eye on our bodies and minds, and give ourselves an MOT.
A message to men from the Men's Health Forum:
It's a simple one: it's time for your MOT.
Take notice of what's going on in your body and mind.
Get an NHS Health Check.
Go and see your GP if you're concerned about any symptoms.
The ‘Can Do’ Challenge
Created by the NHS, these five ways to wellbeing are five things we can all do that are scientifically proven to help us feel better.
Every day, a different way
The five ways are:
Connect - connect with other people (eg. call an old friend you haven't since before lockdown) #connectmonday
(Be) Active - move your body (eg. go for a run/walk/swim/dance/etc) #activetuesday
Notice - take notice of the environment around you (eg. turn off your phone for an hour) #noticewednesday
Discover - learn something new (eg. read a book you haven't read before) #discoverthursday
Offer (or give) - do something for someone else (eg. volunteer for a local community group) #offerfriday
Finally, please remember that we’re here to support you on your health, fitness and wellbeing journey! So, if you need help with your ‘Can Do’ challenge and want some motivation to keep you active or kickstart your fitness journey – we’re here to help. Simply speak with a member of the team and we’ll get you started!
Sources: Men’s Health Month – Celebrated Each June (menshealthmonth.org) | Time for your MOT | Men's Health Forum (menshealthforum.org.uk) | Men's Health Week | NHS Professionals | Men's Health Week - Healthwatch Somerset