June 14-21 is Men’s Health Week 2021 – a global initiative supported by the CIF to encourage people to talk about men’s health and well-being. The aim is to increase awareness of preventable health problems, while inspiring healthier lifestyle choices.
Against a backdrop of Covid-19, people are being encouraged to embrace the campaign’s making connections theme to boost social relationships lost amongst the chaos of the pandemic. The Men’s Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) runs Men’s Health Week across the island.
MHFI Director of Operations Colin Fowler says it’s important for people to check in, check up and check it out when it comes to overall health.
“Throughout Covid there has been the uncertainty of work and money affecting mental health,” he says. “We’ve all been living in these weird bubbles. The construction boys who would have sat down in the morning shoulder to shoulder, read the paper, had a cup of tea together – they’re now at opposite ends of the room with masks on.”
“Men have lost their jobs, been put on furlough and holding schemes,” Fowler says. “A lot of people in the construction industry are self-employed, particularly in the smaller end of the market, sub-contractors, and found that work dried up or they weren’t allowed to work so it has had quite a big impact,” he adds.
“Covid has also affected people coming forward to seek diagnosis for cancer. Biologically men are often more predisposed to conditions and don’t cope with them as well as women.
“Other trauma is that they tend to come forward too late. Skin cancer, particularly for men in the construction sector, if you leave it too late, then it is too late.”
MHFI’s Men’s Health Week campaign is funded by the Health Service Executive Health & Wellbeing and the Public Health Agency.
You can find more information on www.mhfi.org