Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality Fiona O’Loughlin TD says it’s important to reflect on the health challenges facing men as we prepare to mark International Men’s Day on 19th November.

Deputy O’Loughlin commented, “It’s important to focus on the health challenges facing men as we prepare to mark International Men’s Day. Maintaining positive physical and mental health is one of the key challenges facing men right around the world. The most recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that, globally, male life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 69 years. This compares to 74 years for females and shows that more can be done to promote positive health for males.

“Men also face significant challenges when it comes to maintaining positive mental health. Men account for almost 80% of suicides in Ireland and numerous reports have highlighted that they often feel unable to open up about mental health issues that they are experiencing. There is no doubt that gender-stereotyping has made it difficult for men to discuss their feelings and this has exacerbated mental health challenges. Great progress has been made in tackling this problem in recent years but much more work needs to be done.

“As Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Equality I am conscious of the needs of all groups in our society and the various supports available to them. Organisations such as the Men’s Sheds movement have provided a lifeline for many men experiencing isolation and these groups must be supported to allow them continue doing the great work that they do.

“As we prepare to mark International Men’s Day we should remember the men in our lives and appreciate the contribution they make to society,” concluded Deputy O’Loughlin.