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Men's Health Week 2006 - June 12-18

The fifth National Men's Health Week (NMHW) was held from the 12-18th June, 2006. The week focused on the issue of men and mental wellbeing.

Missed mens' health week 2006?

If you missed the Men's Health Week last summer, it's still not too late to catch up.

The NMHW2006 Resource Pack is available by clicking on the link below:

NMHW2006 Resource Pack

NMHW2006 - Mind Your Head Policy Document

National Men's Health Week

NMHW was first held in June 2002 and since then grown in size and impact, firmly establishing itself as a key part of the health improvement calendar.  Each year NMHW focuses on a different area of policy relevant to men's health.  Previous weeks have looked at:

  • Male health in general (2002)
  • Men and sexual health (2003)
  • Men and cancer (2004)
  • Men and weight (2005)

NMHW provides a focal point for individuals and organisations with an interest in improving men's health.  Highlights of the Week include:

  • A high-profile national launch.
  • Extensive media coverage — in 2005 almost every national broadsheet and tabloid covered the week.
  • Local men's health events — about 1,500 different events were organised in 2004.
  • The launch of a policy document, bringing together the views of relevant stakeholders.
  • Parliamentary activity through the All Party Parliamentary Group on Men's Health.
  • Partnership events with stakeholders. In 2005, this included the launch of Royal Mail franking of over one billion envelopes with the URL of the Forum's website,
  • Showcasing innovative projects.
  • The publication of a Haynes manual addressing the theme of NMHW. In 2004, the Forum worked with Haynes to publish the Cancer Manual; in 2005, the manual, called HGV, tackled overweight and obesity.
  • A national conference showcasing innovative, successful ways of addressing the particular challenges relevant to the theme of NMHW.

National Men's Health Week 2006

The theme for NMHW2006 will be men and mental wellbeing. Mental health is a key area of government concern and activity, reflected in its prominence in the public health White Paper, Choosing Health (2004). This document shows that at any one time one adult in six has a mental health problem (as many as nine million people may be affected in England and Wales?) and up to one in four GP consultations concerns mental health. Work-related stress affects about one in five workers and stress-related conditions are now the most common reported cause of absenteeism. Improving access to services, creating healthy workplaces and improving mental and emotional well-being are part of the government's strategy to tackle mental health problems.

Men may find it particularly hard to talk about their feelings and are widely acknowledged to be reluctant to seek or receive professional help for mental health problems from either medical and psychological services. These services have also,  sometimes shown a limited understanding of how to work with men effectively on mental health issues.

Some examples of mental health issues particular to men include:

  • Suicide is the most common cause of death in young men under 35. Overall, 75 per cent of suicides in the UK are by men
  • Young African and Caribbean men (especially second generation) are much more likely to receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, are more likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act and less likely to be offered psychological treatments 
  • Studies suggest that depression occurs as often in men as in women yet doctors are less likely to diagnose men with depression than women
  • One unemployed man in seven  will develop depression within six months of losing his job.
  • Men make up 96 per cent of the UK prison population — an environment in which mental health problems are particularly prevalent
  • Men often misuse addictive drugs, especially alcohol, in an attempt to deal with emotional health problems.
  • Boys are five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

NMHW will seek to raise awareness about these and other issues.  However it will not be a negative event focusing solely on problems but will instead seek to promote a positive approach by highlighting, and encouraging, good practice in a wide variety of settings. A key aim will be to demonstrate how men's emotional literacy, wellbeing and resilience can be enhanced and increased.

The benefits to individual men of improved mental wellbeing will include:

  • Simply feeling better.
  • Improved relationships.
  • Higher levels of achievement at work.
  • Coping better with stress.
  • Increased protection against mental illness.
  • Better physical health.
  • A better sex life.
  • Earlier help-seeking

The Week will address all aspects of mental health, from suicide through to stress and anxiety. Local organisations will be encouraged and enabled to run events on mental health issues and the Forum will produce a policy report highlighting the key issues at a national level. The Forum will also be looking to forge partnerships with major employers to run projects aimed at promoting mental wellbeing in the workplace. 

The Haynes' Brain manual

The Forum intends to use NMHW 2006 as a means of creating resources that can be used on a long-term basis. One key objective will be to produce a men and mental wellbeing manual (Brain) in the Haynes' computer manual format.  The book will be the definitive guide to men and mental health — not only will the content be comprehensive but the design will also be well-suited to a male readership.  

The main target audience for the book will be men of all ages who are interested in becoming more aware of mental health issues, finding out how to reduce the risks, or understanding more (and becoming more empowered) about how to take steps to improve mental wellbeing. Health professionals will also be able to use the book as a health promotion and education resource.  

The Forum was a partner in the production of the Haynes' Man manual, a general men's health book, which has been both critically acclaimed and popular (over 100,000 copies sold since November 2002).

Mini-Brain manuals

The Forum will also produce 'mini' Brain manuals in the Haynes' format. These are 16-page A5-sized extracts from the book that can be cheaply produced in large numbers and targeted at specific audiences. A broad range of mini manuals have been produced, including Mini Cancer manuals have been ordered by Royal Mail and BT for distribution to their staff.  


A one-day national conference on men and mental health is planned for NMHW 2006. The first-ever conference of its kind, the event will focus  on developing and disseminating good practice in promoting the mental wellbeing of men and boys. 

All those who register will receive information on the conference when it becomes available. 

National partnerships

The MHF is also currently recruiting national level partners. This entails involvement in the production of the Brain manual and other aspects of the week. If your organisation would be interested in finding out more  . please contact Matthew Maycock, National Men's Health Week Coordinator on: 08701453815 or using the feedback box below.

We already have the following national level partners confirmed:

Age Concern


There are currently 37 confirmed partners and the Men's Health Forum expect this number to rise as a couple more partners confirm their involvement shortly.


Registering your interest in NMHW will ensure that you receive regular updates about the week as well as details about our free resource pack (which is designed to support local activity). Once more the resource pack will be disseminated online. As with last year, we are planning a range of national events and activities that will both complement and draw attention to the work that is going on at a local level. Registering with us will also ensure that you are updated about these activities.

Click here to register

For further information

For further information about NMHW, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact: 

Matthew Maycock, National Men's Health Week Coordinator on: 08701453815 or:

Page created on November 25th, 2004

Page updated on December 1st, 2009