Because the health status of males in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of females.
More males die at every stages through the life course, more males have accidents, more males take their own lives and more males suffer from lifestyle-related health conditions than females at the same age.
Meanwhile, men are less frequent visitors to general practitioners, and the perception is that they don’t care about health or that health services are not well-prepared to interact with men effectively.
But that’s not what Men’s Health Week is about!
Men’s Health Week was started in the United States by the US Congress in 1994 to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
In Australia, there were small and localised Men’s Health Week events in Victoria and then in New South Wales from about 2000 onwards.
In 2002, the 2nd World Congress Of Men’s Health was held in Vienna and brought together six leading men’s health organisations including MHIRC to run international events in June each year, just before the United States and United Kingdom Father’s Day.
THE VIENNA MEN’S HEALTH DECLARATION
The Vienna Declaration set out to establish:
- Recognizing men’s health is a critical issue and that there are health issues which only affect men
- Promoting awareness of men’s approach to health
- Changing the way health care is provided to be more sensitive towards men’s needs
- Creating school and community programs which target boys and young men
- Connecting health and social policies to better pursue men’s health goals
In Australia, Men’s Health Week provides a platform for challenging and debating key issues in men’s health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country each June.
Our approach celebrates the strengths of men, the contributions they make and the important role they play in society. It is as much as week of celebration and engagement of men with a serving of health on the side!