BIG LOTTERY FUND GRANTS - Boost for familes in the Northwest

Men’s Action Network is one of three projects working with families in the north west that have been awarded grants totalling £2,091,251 from the programme. Other projects are working with families with children who have children with sight loss, autism and physical disabilities. (a full list of grants awarded can be found here). Men’s Action Network has been awarded £698,767 to work with Fermanagh Women’s Aid on the five-year Fathering Families project. It is supporting families who may have experienced issues including poverty, separation, divorce, addiction and domestic violence in the Derry/Londonderry, Enniskillen, Dungiven, Magherafelt and Omagh areas to be healthier, happier and stronger. The project is working with a range of other agencies and activities include parenting and communication skills, peer support, play and art therapy and signposting to other services.

For media enquiries, please contact Lucy Gollogly at the Big Lottery Fund Press Office.
Direct line: 02890 551 432
Website: biglotteryfund/northernireland
Twitter: @BIGNIonline
Facebook: facebook/BigLotteryFundNI

Men's Health Week

launch of the Men's Helth Week from the 13th to the 19th June. In partnership with the Western Health and Social Care Trust and the Public Health Agency. See schedule below.

Is ‘Euro 2016 Fever’ a Medical Condition?

Michael O'Neill and Martin O'Neill Launch Men's Health Week 2016 in Ireland This is a critical time for many men on the island of Ireland. There’s a date that all men need to know about - as it could make a huge impact upon their health. This date is Monday 13th - Sunday 19th June 2016, also known as International Men’s Health Week (or, to some, the first week of the long awaited Euro 2016 Championship). To help local men etch this date into their minds, National Soccer Squad Managers, Michael O’Neill and Martin O’Neill, are featuring in an island-wide poster campaign to launch Men’s Health Week and raise awareness of men’s health needs. This has certainly worked because, just like the matches in France, all the Men’s Health Week resources are already sold out!

‘Euro 2016 Fever’ is in the air. Men across the country are planning their viewing schedules (possibly even their working hours), stockpiling enough refreshments to see them through a nuclear winter, and making arrangements with their friends for the common sharing of this unique experience - as soccer teams from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have qualified for the Championship

Many men are knowledgeable about what lies ahead. They know which teams have got through to this stage; who is in each group; what days and times countries will be playing; what the bookies’ odds are for each team to win; and which players are likely to be the stars of the competition.

Euro 2016 has created a common bond among many men. They have a reason to be in each other’s company. They are well informed by the media about what lies ahead. They are prepared to give their opinions and stand out from the crowd. They are motivated and excited. They are passionate, enthusiastic and want to be involved. They are likely to show more emotion than usual ... They’ve obviously caught a bug. Maybe ‘Euro 2016 Fever’ is a medical condition after all.

Colin Fowler, Director of Operations for the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland, comments:
“These are traits that we don't often associate with males on the island of Ireland, and we need to harness this energy. Like a common cold, Euro 2016 will come and go in a matter of weeks, but men‟s health issues will remain long into the future. Men on the island of Ireland experience a disproportionate burden of ill-health and die too young, but this is not a lost cause. Men's Health Week seeks to do something positive and practical to challenge this situation”.

So, why should we focus upon men’s health? Well, the reasons are both stark and clear ...
  • Men in Ireland die, on average, almost four and a half years younger than women do.
  • Males have higher death rates than women for all of the leading causes of death and at all ages.
  • Poor lifestyles are responsible for a high proportion of chronic diseases.
  • Late presentation to health services leads to a large number of problems becoming untreatable
This high level of premature mortality amongst men in Ireland has far-reaching repercussions - far beyond the life satisfaction of men themselves. It affects not only industry and commerce, but also impacts upon the social and financial positions of families. However, just like in the Euro 2016 Championship, Men’s Health Week this year calls upon men to unite and work together for change. Everyone on the island of Ireland is encouraged to ask themselves the question: Are we winning? in relation to men’s health. If the answer is no, then it’s time to do something to remedy this situation.

To support Men’s Health Week 2016, the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland has produced a new, free, 32 page Man Manual. This booklet - titled ‘Challenges and Choices’ - opens with the statement: "Warning ... Reading this manual can seriously improve your health", and goes on to issue a series of ten simple, practical challenges to local men:
  • 1. Order a soft drink the next time you’re in the pub.
  • 2. Try some fruit or vegetables you’ve never tasted before or think you don’t like.
  • 3. Make at least one journey by foot or bicycle instead of going by car.
  • 4. If you’re under 25 and sexually active, get yourself checked for chlamydia.
  • 5. Stressed out? ... Walk away from tense situations before you blow up.
  • 6. Find out about the opening hours at your local GP’s surgery.
  • 7. Get your blood pressure checked within the next two weeks.
  • 8. Get a mate to quit smoking with you - and get advice on how to stop.
  • 9. Show a doctor that lump, strange-shaped mole, or rash that’s bothering you.
  • 10. If you get backache, don’t let it become a pain in the ass. Get it sorted.
Each challenge is accompanied by a reason why it is important to take action, a menu of possible choices available, and where to find help. Most importantly, it provides this information in a straightforward, step-by-step, humorous and commonsense way.

Helping to launch Men's Health Week, Minister for Health, Michelle O'Neill, stated ... “Evidence clearly shows that there are many challenges to be faced when seeking to improve men‟s health. However, it also highlights that men‟s health can be improved in many significant ways - if men make the right choices, and are given the support, encouragement and opportunities to succeed. This Man Manual provides the information and the tools, and Men's Health Week offers men across Ireland the opportunity to make a positive change. I am delighted that the Public Health Agency was able to support the production of this much-requested booklet"
Pictures of Launch
Useful Links & resources

Below are a number of links to other sites that will give you a flavour and insight to just some of the work ongoing in this field.
Please note that the value-base and content of these sites is not necessarily endorsed by Men's Action Network.

Fathering & Family Life

Amen - helpline and support for male victims of domestic abuse in Ireland.
Child Maintenance Choices - free and confidential information to help separated parents to make informed choices about child maintenance in Northern Ireland. - Irish website for fathers and fathers-to-be covering a broad range of issues.
Dad Info - UK website providing information on a spectrum of topics.
Families Need Fathers - concerned with the problems of maintaining a child's relationship with both parents during and after family breakdown in the UK.
Fatherhood Institute - UK website featuring research, reports, practice issues and resources.
Fathers and Families: Research and Reflection on Key Questions - Department of Health and Children Report published in 2000.
Home-Start Northern Ireland - network of trained volunteers offering practical support to parents who are struggling to cope.
Men in Limerick Experiencing Separation (MILES) - support group for men who are coping with the effects of a relationship breakdown or who are separated from their family.
Men's Advisory Project (MAP) - counselling for male victims of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland, and offers anger management support.
Parenting Forum Northern Ireland - highlights the needs of parents in order to influence policy, planning and service delivery.
Parentline - provides information and a listening ear to parents in the Republic of Ireland.
Parents Advice Centre - offers a free and confidential helpline for parents in Northern Ireland, parenting education courses, and a range of articles on parenting issues.
Sands Northern Ireland - support to parents and families bereaved by stillbirth and neonatal death.
SENAC - independent advice and advocacy service to parents of children with special educational needs in Northern Ireland.
The Ultimate Guide to Addiction and Suicide by Paul Clarke at Ocean Recovery Centre.

Men & Mental Health Contacts

Addiction Prevention: 34 Essential Lesson Plans for Educators
Alternative Treatments for Addiction
AnamAire - is a non-profit partnership in the West of Ireland which offers personal development and emotional support services.
Aware - supports those who are directly affected by depression and offers a helpline (Republic of Ireland). For Aware in Northern Ireland, click here.
Contact Youth - free and confidential counselling to young people in Northern Ireland.
Drug Prevention 4 Teens
Counselling Directory - signposting to a United Kingdom-wide network of professional counsellors. Also provides a range of statistics, useful articles, and information.
Grow - network of mental health support groups throughout Ireland.
Heads Away Just Say - mental health support and advice for young people on a range of subjects.
Mental Health Ireland - national voluntary organisation offering information, events, research, networks and projects.
Minding Your Head - spot the symptoms of poor mental health and find simple ways to stay healthy.
National Office for Suicide Prevention - research, training and reports in this field.
National Suicide Research Foundation - research evidence which contributes to the prevention of suicidal behaviour in Ireland.
Recover - information and resources for people coping with schizophrenia.
RU Right in the Head? - booklet for young men, providing information on issues which can affect their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Samaritans - confidential and non-judgemental emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people who are experiencing distress or despair.
See Change - partnership to reduce stigma and challenge the discrimination associated with mental health problems.
Shine - support for people affected by mental ill-health.
Stamp Out Suicide! - suicide awareness information for those feeling depressed and suicidal, and for those bereaved by suicide.
Stress, Mental Health and Suicide: Men - inequalities and unfair access issues emerging from the DHSSPS (2004) “Equality and Inequalities in Health and Social Care: A Statistical Overview” Report (PDF, 68KB).
Teen Depression - A Guide for Parents
Teen-Line Ireland - helpline for teenagers which provides a listening and support service.
The Mesothelioma Center - information about mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects protective membranes surrounding lungs, heart and abdominal cavity mainly caused by asbestos exposure
Your Mental Health - improves awareness and understanding of mental health and well-being in Ireland.
ZocDoc Search for Mental Health Service Providers

Physical Activity & Diet

Cycle NI - cycle routes in Northern Ireland for all abilities.<
Eurobarometer report on sport and physical activity.
Get a Life, Get Active - information, motivation and tips to increase your level of physical activity.
Get Ireland Active website.
Highway to Health - developed by Northern Ireland Chest, Heart & Stroke to encourage people of all ages to walk for leisure and good health.
Irish Heart Foundation - information on why we need to get active and how.
Irish Trails - trails and walking routes in Ireland.
Little Steps - suggestions for little steps to becoming more active.
The National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland.
Outdoor NI - guide to outdoor activities in Northern Ireland.
Slí na Sláinte - scheme developed by the Irish Heart Foundation to encourage people to walk for leisure and good health.
Walk NI - walking routes in Northern Ireland for both the serious rambler and short strollers.
Weigh 2 Live - practical advice on weight loss, developed by nutritionists from SafeFood and dietitians from the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute.

Research, Statistics, Policy & Reports

Gender Equality Strategy Statistics - 2011 Update (PDF, 735KB): Prepared for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland (OFMDFM) by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).
Getting Inside Men's Health: Outcomes of a research project to inform the development of a National Men's Health Policy in the Republic of Ireland.
Health in Ireland: Key Trends 2011 (PDF, 2.26MB): Health data on the Republic of Ireland over the past decade, which aims to highlight trends and topics of growing concern, as well as to assess progress in the broader EU context.
Men in Northern Ireland (MiNI) Series: Headline factsheets on males, presenting key statistics relating to demography, work, health, education, family life and caring responsibilities (prepared by staff from ARK).
Men's Life and Times: A module within the 2000 and 2004 Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, conducted by the ARK team within Queen's University Belfast and the University of Ulster. This research explores the attitudes of both men and women to issues affecting men.
North Leitrim Men's Research: Report, in 2001, on research conducted by the North Leitrim Men's Group into the needs of single rural men.
Social Focus on Men: Produced by National Statistics, this report provides an overview of the changing lives and roles of men in the United Kingdom in terms of their health, work, income, education, family situation and lifestyle in 2001.
Women and Men in Ireland, 2011 (PDF, 1.21MB): Gender equality indicators collated by the Central Statistics Office in the Republic of Ireland.