Saturday the 19th November marks International Men’s Day, an event celebrated in countries all over the world in order to commemorate men in our society who have worked to make a difference. It is a day to highlight the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities and to bring to the fore the different issues which affect men.
The month of November is a pivotal month for men. Men’s health is a topic that is widely talked about during the month. Movements from the Prostate Cancer Support Group like the yearly Movember and the recently launched November Walnut campaign help to raise awareness on prostate cancer and testicular cancer and encourage men to get themselves checked.
Mental Health is another key issue that is also raised in relation to Men’s issues, as research suggests men are less likely to talk about their problems than women. This can then create conditions of depression and anxiety and in turn affect the person’s wellbeing. It is strongly encouraged that men experiencing hardship seek help early on, by talking to someone they trust about their issues.
International Men’s Day, is therefore a great opportunity to raise awareness and address key issues affecting boys and men. It is also an important occasion to remind the community and signpost services and resources available locally. The Ministry of Equality have developed a social media sticker to share awareness of the day should the public wish to share it.
Minister for Equality, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento MP, said: “On awareness days like today we hope to bridge the gap between genders and make the world less gender biased. It is equally important to start conversations about the issues that affect men and boys with a view of helping them. We want to understand and support as best as possible. Therefore, it is important that the issues that affect men and boys in Gibraltar are highlighted. By talking about these issues, a mutual understanding can be created and possible solutions can be found, but what it is clear to me is that by ignoring these issues, a solution will not be found. I therefore encourage men and boys to talk about any problems they are keeping to themselves and I also encourage other men and women to help by supporting those who seek their help.”