An important topic for men and boys

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International Men's Health Week 2019 runs from Monday June 10 to Sunday June 16.

It was first made international in 2002 and is run in several countries, including those who celebrate Father's Day in June (which is a long list, and part of the reason for choosing these dates).

The USA first marked the week in 1994, and Australia had local events bringing attention to the topic around the start of the millennium.

The theme for Australia this year was announced by the Men's Health Information and Resource Centre at Western Sydney University.

That theme is "Keeping boys and men healthy".

The general idea behind this theme is for men to think of themselves as role models for boys, bringing attention to the fact that engaging in healthy habits yourself sets a good example for the boys in your life who look up to you.

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That goes for healthy choices like not smoking, not drinking excessively, eating well and being physically active on a regular basis, through to looking after your mental health and paying more attention to your safety.

So it's partially about how fit and healthy you are, and how you feel about yourself now, but it's also about lowering your risk of suffering what would be categorised as a preventable death, from any number of causes.

The Australian Men's Health Forum says "Men's Health Week is designed to provoke thought and discussion about what needs to be done to improve the lives and health of men and boys, through a series of promotions, events and publicity around the country."

To find an event near you - some of which are actually on before the week officially starts - just visit:


MHIRC is based at the Hawkesbury campus of WSU and was founded in 1999.

They design, develop and support research and projects that enhance the health and well-being of men and boys in a variety of contexts.

MHIRC director Professor John Macdonald says the centre "explores men's health in terms of the factors in society and life that build or undermine this health.

"Health is a dynamic reality shaped by many factors. An individual's health is the product of many aspects of their life, and the term used for the causes behind health status is the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH).

"MHIRC focuses particularly on the health status of marginalised or disadvantaged males - this includes populations such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, unemployed men, separated men, incarcerated men, new dads and other males who may find themselves at risk of increased stress and therefore poorer health outcomes."