June 10th -16th 2024 is Men's Health Week organised each year by Men's Health Forum to raise awareness of men's health and to encourage men to seek medical advice or support for any health concerns that they have been experiencing.

Ironically, it's talked about quite a lot that "men don't talk", feel they're expected to "man up" and to not show weakness or share when they have a problem. So, this year the focus of Men's Health Week is on getting men to share their stories.

This toxic stereotype that men are expected to be strong and silent is not only stopping men from seeking treatment for physical health issues, it's also having a devastating impact on their mental health. Mental Health UK states that suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50, and a staggering 75% of deaths by suicide are males. With these figures dramatically higher than those for women, it shows that staying silent helps no one and can have the worst possible consequences.

King Charles showed us how it's done by sharing the problems he had with an enlarged prostate which led him to seek medical treatment. The day after he shared his story there were 16,410 visits to the NHS website page about prostate enlargement, more than 11 times the previous day. Men's Health Forum have also created a new P for Prostate manual that is available to order from their site for more information.

Rugby League Player Rob Burrows has also had an incredible impact on the prominence of Motor Neurone Disease, following his diagnosis in 2019. Heart-warming friendship and support was shown by friends and Leeds Rhinos teammates, most prominently the charity endurance events taken on by Kevin Sinfield. Since first being diagnosed he has not only raised the profile of MND but also raised £5.8 million towards the much-needed Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease which will benefit MND patients, their families and carers. The Extra Mile by Kevin Sinfield is an inspirational and life-affirming read; the extraordinary memoir of the sporting icon, devoted friend and fundraising hero who has inspired the nation in his fight against MND.

This Men's Health Week we have put together a Collection of book suggestions that can help you or the man in your life focus more on health. In Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig you'll find an accessible and life-affirming memoir of Haig's struggle with depression and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live; it's a must-read for anyone battling with the disease. 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson is a generation-defining self-help guide whereby the superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. F**k positivity, Mark Manson says. Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.

We also have an author Q&A with Richard Sutton, author of Thrive, a fascinating and practical toolkit to help channel the power of resilience and realise your full potential. 

Billy No-Mates must have been a difficult book to title, because although Max Dickins begins his masculinity journey with the realisation that he is struggling to name a best man for his wedding, this book is about so much more than maintaining male friendships. It's nothing short of a forensic exploration of what it is to be a bloke. The combination of high-quality comedic writing layered on top of methodical research with therapists, academics and so on (the appendix notes are 30 pages long) is brilliantly engaging.

You can mark Men's Health Week by exploring these titles and they'll be here all year round to empower you to make positive changes, feel healthier and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Why not also take the extra time to check in on your friends, brothers, fathers, husbands, partners - essentially any and all of the men in your life and encourage them to share their stories. 

If you are looking for more advice on health issues, take a look at some of our other specialist collections of books.

Great Books on Sleep: Catch some z's with this collection of 10 books to support insomnia

15 Books to Get You Up and Running

Books about Women's Health to act as a companion this Women's Health Month and every month

Great books to support positive mental health this Mental Health Awareness Week and every week

Books to support people with cancer and their loved ones

13 Menopause Books to Reassure, Inspire and Support You

We help raise awareness of dementia this World Alzheimer's Month with these 15 books featuring dementia

Reading Well for Dementia by The Reading Agency - Books for people living with dementia, including people affected by dementia