Irish Men’s Sheds Association Puts Tipperary Men on the Road to Better Health

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA), which has 12 sheds in County Tipperary, has marked the official launch of a new dedicated men’s health website, malehealth.ie.Malehealth.ie aims to set men of all ages on the road to better health by signposting them to a wide range of health information and resources from over 40 leading Irish health organisations.

 

Based on the hugely successful Australian Men’s Sheds Association website ‘Spanner in the Works’, which has an average 50,000 views per month, malehealth.ie offers key health information for men in a practical, relatable form.

 

Speaking at the launch, Finian McGrath, TD, Minister of State for Disability Issues, said: “The development of this dedicated website is a key milestone in the journey of Men’s Sheds connecting with men at many different levels and providing them with information and support in relation to their health and wellbeing and I would encourage men to go online and consider what is on offer.”

 

The website is designed to be user-friendly for men of all ages, and its interface is based on the familiar shape of a typical car, as a direct comparison to the male body. Users first enter their age category, and can then browse by body part for ailments and conditions that might affect them. Depending on the specific health topic selected, the website directs them to relevant health information from a leading health body. A wealth of organisations are currently signposted on the site, covering a wide range of health topics such as diabetes, joint health and testicular cancer.

 

Barry Sheridan, chief executive of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association commented:  “It is very fitting that the Irish Men’s Sheds Association should be the driving force behind this new website. Men’s Sheds have been at the forefront of a revolution in men’s health in Ireland in recent years, and malehealth.ie is another innovative way of encouraging men to take control of their health and wellbeing.

 

“We know from academic research that 91% of men feel that belonging to a shed has improved their wellbeing. The website will now allow us to spread those health benefits beyond our 400 sheds and 10,000 weekly attendees. Our aim is to empower men to take control of their own health, by showing them how to get the right advice and support from the right people at the right time.”

 

In addition to signposting users towards key health services, malehealth.ie contains lifestyle advice as well as information and resources on social outlets and the physical changes and risk factors which affect men as they age

 

Fergal Fox from the HSE’s Health Promotion and Improvement programme added: “Supporting Men’s health and wellbeing is core to the work of the HSE, under both our plan to implement ‘Healthy Ireland’ and within the ‘Connecting for Life’ Suicide Strategy. By working with organisations like the Men’s Sheds, our objective is to encourage and engage with men to think about and be mindful of their health and wellbeing. A key part of the information available on this new website are the links provided to a range of health and wellbeing topics, from healthy eating, alcohol, mental health, active living and quit smoking services to cancer screening.”

Malehealth.ie was established by the Irish Men’s Sheds Association as part of its ‘Sheds for Life’ initiative, which aims to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Men’s Shed members.

 

For further information visit www.malehealth.ie and www.menssheds.ie.

 

 

About the Irish Men’s Sheds Association

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) was formed in January 2011 with the mission to support the development of the burgeoning Men’s Sheds movement throughout the island of Ireland.

 

IMSA is a member-based organisation which exists to maintain links and share information through the network of Men’s Sheds in Ireland. It also acts as a representative body to carry the message and ethos of Men’s Sheds onto the national stage. As a grassroots organisation, IMSA believes strongly in the autonomy of each individual shed and strives for a future in which all men have the opportunity to maintain and improve their wellbeing on their own terms within their own communities.

 

About ‘Sheds for Life’

Men’s participation in sheds has shown to be a secondary indicator of their health and wellbeing as it leads to reduction in a sense of isolation, increase in social support, improved access to services and improved understanding of mental and physical health and wellbeing (Carragher, 2013). Ireland was the first country in the world to publish a National Men’s Health Policy (2009) and the first to identify the Men’s Sheds model as an ideal way to promote men’s health and wellbeing in a community setting.

 

The IMSA ‘Sheds for Life’ initiative aims to support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of Men’s Sheds members. The safe environment offered by Men’s Sheds is conducive to learning and sharing information, including health information. ‘Sheds for Life’ aims to work within this health enhancing, supportive environment of the shed by collaborating with local and national organisations to give Men’s sheds members the choice to participate in health promoting programmes, as well as advice and signposting.

 

The initiative works in collaboration with policy makers, service providers, health and allied health professionals around the country to provide the resources and signposting for Men’s Sheds members on health issues in line with the Healthy Ireland Framework and the Healthy Ireland Men 2017-2021 National Men’s Action Plan.

 

 

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