Celebrating International Men’s Day

“Making A Difference for Men and Boys”

International-Mens-Day-no-borderMonday the 19th of November is International Mens Day. This day marks the culmination of a series of events which highlights serious issues affecting men and boys. It is a celebration of men and boys in all their diversity and  explores “how we can give men and boys better life chances”.


Movember runs throughout this month. You might see some interesting moustaches bristling above  men’s upper lip over the next few weeks but it has an important message raising awareness of men’s health and well being.

Prostate Cancer

In the UK prostate cancer kills 1 man every 45 minutes. It develops slowly and so is easily missed. The chances of a man contracting prostate cancer increases as he grows older.

Symptoms of prostate cancer can include:

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • needing to rush to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully
  • blood in urine or blood in semen

Raising Awareness About Prostate Cancer

Mental Health

Scotland has seen a decrease in suicides (figures for 2016 -17 from Samaritans) , however, the rate has increased for young men over the past 3 years. The 35 – 54 age group continues to have the highest number of suicides. This is extremely worrying given that the figures for men, as a whole, over the UK have been decreasing.

suicide rates Scotland

The full report from Samaritans can be viewed here: suicide statistics report

Samaritans are there to provide support and have branches throughout Scotland.  In Orkney they are located at The Travel Centre, West Castle Street,  Kirkwall,

The volunteers are there at the following times: 

  • Tuesday               20.00 – 00.00
  • Wed/Thurs          22.00 – 02.00
  • Sat/Sunday          22.00 – 02.00

During these hours, calls to the local number (875875) will usually be answered by a listening volunteer in Kirkwall.

Outside of these hours, calls will be transferred to the national service and could be taken by any Samaritans branch in the UK. 116 123 (this number is free to call)

Samaritans is there to help at any time.

“Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone on 116 123.”

Men’s Sheds

Over recent years Men’s Sheds have started to appear. These are community based ‘Sheds’ where men can meet up. Members decide what they will be doing but they are informal in their nature and provide an excellent place for men to get together.

Orkney Mens Shed

Orkney Mens Shed, located in Finstown, is growing from strength to strength and its activities are regularly reported in The Orkney News by our own Shedder, Nick Morrison. You can search our archives to explore what they have been doing. They also have a Facebook page, Orkney Men’s Shed.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame


6 replies »

      • As you say Fiona, changed days and I personally think for the better. However, that being said everyone at some time needs a space where they can spend time with their own sex, even telling ‘non-pc’ jokes, I even wonder how much the demise of these retreats has contributed in some way to some of the current mental health problems even maybe contributing to the male suicide rate. I only pose this as a question as I have no statistics for male suicide rates over the years but it would make an interesting comparison nevertheless.

  1. The suicide rates for Scotland are included in the article for recent years. You can click on the link to the Samaritans to get more statistics. They are the only organisation collecting this data.

Leave a Reply