What is Men’s Health Week?
Men’s Health Week is celebrated around the world each June. It is aimed at raising awareness of some of the health issues unique to men and boys, as well as those issues which disproportionately affect men. The week also promotes the importance of healthy living for all men and provides educational opportunities about some of the risk factors impacting on men’s health.
This year Men’s Health Week is celebrated between 13-19 June. Learn more about the initiative, and look for community events taking place near you, at the Australian Men’s Health Week website.
Where does alcohol fit in?
Drinking alcohol at harmful levels has a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians. The NSW Men’s Health Framework lists alcohol as one of the modifiable risk factors contributing to the burden of disease on our health system. Alcohol use contributed to the burden of 30 diseases and injuries, including alcohol use disorders, 8 types of cancer, and chronic liver disease.
Alcohol’s impact on health goes beyond disease: 10-15% of hospital presentations nationally are alcohol related, while 1 in 4 of all Australian road fatalities can be attributed to drink driving.
In 2019, 3.7% of all deaths in NSW were attributable to alcohol.
How does this affect men?
While problematic use of alcohol affects women as well as men, in many categories of concern men are disproportionately represented. Men’s Health Week is an opportunity to remind men about the importance of healthy attitudes towards alcohol consumption.
Alcohol and mental health
There are also strong associations between alcohol problems and affective disorders such as major depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety disorders. The use of alcohol can make the symptoms and prognosis of mental illnesses worse. The NSW Men’s Health Framework reports that men were more likely to respond to life events with coping strategies that had a negative impact on their health, such as increasing alcohol, tobacco and/or drug consumption.
What can I do about it?
- Read and understand the Australian Alcohol Guidelines. The guidelines have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and provide evidence-based advice on the health effects of drinking alcohol. They also help people make informed decisions about how much alcohol they drink, if any.
- Download the Drinks Meter App. Drinks Meter is a user-friendly app for your phone or tablet that provides confidential, personalised feedback about your alcohol use based on advice from doctors and the Australian guidelines to reduce health related risks from alcohol.
- Make it a mocktail. Reduce your alcohol consumption by exploring alternatives. Drug Info’s collection of literary mocktails offer a variety of delicious, book-themed and alcohol free drinks that can be enjoyed at parties or at home.
Is alcohol a problem for you, or somebody you know? See Drug Info's Getting Help page to get in touch with a range of service providers as well as online resources and publications.