Men’s Health Week
Men’s Health Week is celebrated every year, internationally from June 13th to 19th. It was established in 1994 by the U.S. Congress and signed off on by President Clinton. In the late 1990s this period was expanded to encompass a whole month. The Men’s Health Network (MHN) held a meeting in Vienna 2002 where it was agreed that Men’s Health Week would be a universal celebration. Today Men’s Health Week continues to be recognised as an important period around the world to spread awareness about preventable men’s health problems, both mental and physical.
In recent years Men’s Health Week has increasingly focused on men’s mental health due to concerning statistics. Studies show that men are three times more likely to commit suicide than a woman. Men and boys can be known to ‘bottle things up’ and not discuss their emotions. It is because of this many men do not seek help when experiencing mental health difficulties. Women are twice more likely to seek professional mental health support than men. This year the theme of Men’s Health Week is ‘building healthy environments for men and boys.’ This means looking to create healthy environments for men and boys to be in including the home, workplace, and social settings.
What is Men’s Health Week?
In Australia Men’s Health Week is coordinated by The Centre for Male Health at Western Sydney University. It is an annual initiative to increase awareness about preventable men’s health problems. During this time men and boys are encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices and address any mental health concerns they may be keeping to themselves. A study conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support found that almost half of men feel reluctant to talk about their health concerns, worrying it would seem like they were making a ‘fuss’. It is exactly these kinds of toxic masculinity ideals that are perpetuated in society, that contribute to the rise in men’s mental health issues and prevent men from speaking out. Men’s Health Week aims to advocate for and support the health and wellbeing of men and boys in our community.
Practical Tips in Supporting Men
No matter your gender, we can all play a part in supporting the men in our life’s health and wellbeing. The male perspective is often left out in conversations about health and wellness but, together we can make a difference.
- Encourage Open Discussions: Show the men and boys in your life that you are open to discussing physical and mental health. Empower them to prioritise their health.
- Get Educated: To be able to have an informed discussion about men’s health, it is important that you learn the basics. Learn about common issues affecting men’s health such as mental health issues like depression and anxiety, and other common health issues such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
- Check-In: Be intuitive. Sense someone you know might not be quite right? Haven’t checked to see how someone is doing in a while? Don’t ignore it. Reach out and see how they are, and offer support.
- Show Appreciation: Recognise and celebrate the role that males play in our lives from friends to colleagues, to brothers, uncles, fathers, husbands and sons. Value the contributions they make.
- Foster a Healthy Work Environment: Support men’s health in the workplace by running wellbeing programs, creating mental health literacy, generating opportunities for meaningful connection and creating a positive work culture where men can safely access the support they need.
What Can I Do About My Mental Health?
- Discuss your Feelings: Find someone you trust such as a friend, family member, colleague, teacher etc who you can confide in. Talking about your emotions isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of emotional intelligence and is of great benefit to your mental health.
- Get Active: Engage in regular exercise activities. This could be going for a walk, going to a gym, having a swim etc. Try and aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. Studies show that exercise releases endorphins which are feel-good chemicals in your brain.
- Improve Your Diet: What you consume massively affects your energy and mood. Minimise your consumption of caffeine and sugar and maintain a balanced diet. Eat a healthy amount of fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
- Drink Responsibly: Alcohol consumption should never be used to deal with tough emotions. High alcohol consumption can damage your body and your brain. Occasional drinking in moderation is a safe and healthy way of enjoying alcohol.
- Ask for Support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need support from others at some point or another. Lean on friends on friends or family or seek professional help where needed. For example, you could join a support group or seek counselling. You can also discuss a mental health plan with your GP.
Men’s Health Week Events – 2022
Men’s Positive Mental Health for Positive Parenting
- Wembley | 16 June 2022, 8.00 a.m.
Free Health Checks at Bunnings Cockburn Central
- Jandakot | 18 June 2022, 10.00a.m.
Walk and Tyre Pull for unity, solidarity and to celebrate positive mental health
- South Burleigh | Sunday 19th June 5.30 a.m.
Prostate Cancer Talk
- Narooma | Wednesday 22nd June, 5.30 – 6.30 p.m.
The Men’s Table – Healthy MANningham
- 14 June 2022, 7.00p.m.
Ventia – Awareness for Men’s Health Week
- Altona | 13 June 2022, All times
Building Healthy Environments for Men and Boys
- Mackay | 15 June 2022, 6.30a.m.
Let’s Talk About Men’s Health – Coffee and Chat
- Mackay | 15 June 2022, 6.30a.m.
MCT Mates Night
- Ulverstone | 15 June 2022, 6.30p.m.
Tradies BBQ breakfast
- St Helen’s | 15 June 2022, 7.45a.m.
South Australia Events
A Fun & Interactive Health event for Blokes over 50
- Salisbury | 24 June 2022, 10.00a.m.
Interested in an event? Learn more here.
Study Mental Health at TrainSmart Australia
If you are passionate about mental health and would love a job that makes a difference for people suffering from mental health, you may want to consider a career as a Support Worker. TrainSmart Australia’s Diploma of Mental Health is a nationally recognised course, designed to help you learn the skills and practices necessary for helping people affected by their mental health.