Take action to live "healthier, happier and longer lives" urges Movember, a leading men's health organisation that focuses on men's mental health and suicide* prevention, testicular cancer and prostate cancer.

A new study** by the charity revealed that nearly 60% of men never, or very rarely speak about their mental health.

This is particularly concerning as three out of every four deaths by suicide in Ireland are male, with a 2017 HSE report revealing that men aged 45-54 were the most susceptible age group.

During their research, the organisation found that men cited feeling embarrassed, not knowing whom to speak to and not being able to find the right words were the top three reasons for not opening up.

Furthermore, research found that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the emotional well-being of men.

This is particularly true among young men aged 18-24, with over 63% claiming their mental health has been impacted by the global pandemic, while 62% of those aged 35-44 also felt it had an adverse impact on their emotional well-being.

In terms of physical health, 47% of males surveyed said they don't know how to self-examine for signs of testicular cancer and nearly four of every ten males aged 18-34 don't know how to properly self-examine.

Alarmingly, only three of every 10 men were encouraged to self-examine their testicles by a health-care professional on a regular basis and the same figure applied for those who have been examined by a health care professional.

The organisation is strongly urging men, both young and old, to take ownership of their health as current statistics show that over 32,500 men in Ireland are living with prostate cancer. And while testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men, nearly half (48%) of all men aged 18-24, have either never or rarely examined for symptoms in the past six months.

2021 Mo Bro ambassadors Celebrity chef Eoin Sheehan, All Ireland GAA winner Cathal McShane, and Olympic boxer Emmet Brennan

The findings come as the charity gears up for a month-long campaign, to raise funds to support programs and initiatives and encourage men to take three simple actions - check in on a mate, open up the conversation about mental health and check themselves.

Speaking at the launch Movember Irish Country Director, Jack O’Connor says:

"We have to keep working hard to change the narrative around men’s health, both physical and mental. The statistics are alarming and the perception that, because you are a man, you must simply tough it out, is not acceptable or appropriate."

"It is important that men, both young and old, realise that they can and must reach out, and we must do everything to normalise the conversation around our emotional well-being."

"Similarly, so with both testicular and prostate cancer- men must take responsibility for their health in this area but so too demand from health care professionals the proper guidance and advice on how to follow regular care plans and to be mindful of this."

To find out more about Movember, click here.

*If you have been affected by issues raised in this story, please visit: www.rte.ie/helplines.

**Research was conducted by Empathy Research across a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults. Fieldwork was conducted from 4th – 9th October 2021.