Men’s Health Week 2016 – a call for action

man with hammerThis week is Men’s Health Week, not only in the UK, but also across the globe. Global Action on Men’s Health is an initiative comprised of professionals from many nations committed to tackling an inequality –  that globally ‘the gap between male and female life expectancy and healthy life expectancy has widened in the last 40 years’.

GAMH acknowledges that work with men on health concerns should not detract from the equal importance of work on women’s health concerns, however unlike the visible profile of female health issues, public health organisations have largely not identified male health as an issue or taken significant actions to address this. Only three countries – Australia, Brazil, and the Republic of Ireland have initiated government male health policies. Other countries, including the UK have not. The Department of Health in England, despite being pressed on the issue continues to act on single silo issues and has not initiated any gender based health policy. Men’s Health Week offers an opportunity to raise the profile of men’s health concerns and make the case for lobbying for action. Highlighting the health problems men face worldwide, GAMH specifically wants to see:

  • Global health organisations and national governments addressing the health and well-
    being needs of men and boys in all relevant policies and through the introduction of
    overarching national men’s health policies.
  • Men and boys being encouraged and supported to take better care of their own health as
    well as the health of their partners and children.
  • Health practitioners taking greater account of the specific needs of men and boys in
    service delivery, health promotion, and clinical practice. Improving men’s access to
    primary care is a particular priority, especially for mental health problems.
  • Other agencies and organisations, such as schools and workplaces, becoming more
    aware of their significant potential role in improving the health of men and boys.
  • Sustained multidisciplinary research into the health of men and boys.

Mengage, through individual membership of GAMH supports practical work with boys and men on health concerns. We welcome all of the above, particularly the importance of work with schools and workplaces as settings for health improvement.

For an informed view on the need for action on men’s health please read the attached GAMH press release.

For further information on men’s health in the UK and the theme of national Men’s Health Week – beating stress, visit the Men’s Health Forum website.