The 19th November became the date to mark International Men’s Day since the project was reinitialised in 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago. The date was chosen by Jerome Teelucksingh, to honour both his Father’s birthday and how on that date in 1989 Trinidad and Tobago’s football team had united the country with their endeavours to qualify for the World Cup.
His vision for International Mens Day was not just a gendered day but a day where all issues affecting men and boys can be addressed. Jerome said of IMD and its grass roots activists, “They are striving for gender equality and patiently attempt to remove the negative images and the stigma associated with men in our society”.
The main objectives of International Men’s Day are:
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
- To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
- To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential..
November is also Movember. Movember raises awareness of male health related issues such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health issues and suicide awareness.
1 in 8 men in the UK will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. For black men and those who have a history of prostate cancer you should go to your doctors from 45 years of age otherwise from 50. Early detection gives a 98% change of survival beyond 5 years which drops to 26% for late detection. A simple blood test (PSA—Prostate Specific Antigen) is the primary test for prostate cancer.
Testicular cancer is more prevalent in younger men. It is vital that men check themselves regularly. There are details of how to do this in the Movember link below.. For those diagnosed there is a greater that 95% chance of survival.
Around the world one man a minute dies by suicide and in the UK 75% of suicides are male. We need to encourage everyone, men in particular, to talk; ask; listen; encourage action and to check in. An immediate number to call should you be in that situation or know of someone who is then call the Samaritans on 116 123 or if you feel life is in danger then dial 999.