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World Kickboxing Champion joins Age NI in the fight on men’s health

Published on 10 June 2024 08:47 AM

World kickboxing champion Billy Murray has teamed up with Age NI to kick off Men’s Health Week and raise awareness of the charity’s men’s health programme which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of men in Northern Ireland aged over 50.

Funded by Movember, Age NI’s Good Vibrations programme is one of only 16 projects selected across the world for its ‘Scaling What Works’ Mental Health Grant funding.

Age NI Director of Marketing & Business Development, Siobhan Casey, explains:

“As part of this year’s Men’s Health Week we want to raise awareness of our fantastic Men’s Health program, developed after Age NI recognised a gap in the provision of dedicated health and mental health support for older men.

There are almost 326,000 men aged over 50 in Northern Ireland, and in this demographic, suicide, alcoholism and the use of anti-depressants are alarmingly high. The latest NI suicide statistics* revealed that 168 men aged over 50 took their own life last year. This accounted for 44% of male suicides of all ages in 2022, and the number was a staggering four and a half times that of females in the same age group.

“Our research with over 300 older men revealed that they don’t know where to turn for advice and information on the new challenges of life beyond 50. Thanks to support from Movember, Good Vibrations fills this gap with tailor made support, information and advice on topics men of this age group have told us they want to know more about. Co-designed with input from older men and tapping into a wealth of expert health and wellbeing advice, the programme covers everything from stress, sleep, physical activity, relationships and healthy eating, men’s health symptoms and screening checks on cancer, diabetes and cardio-vascular disease.”

A podcast series hosted by Joe Lindsay “How’s the form?” has been produced as part of the programme, featuring some of Northern Ireland’s best known older men, including Billy Murray who spoke about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Speaking about the importance of men’s health, Billy commented:

‘’While men are making progress in addressing health concerns, there is still room for improvement. Younger men seem more inclined towards health checks and grooming, but a stigma persists among those over 50. Diet and exercise remain crucial, with moderation being key. Transitioning to smaller portions and incorporating a daily walk, even just for mental clarity, could be beneficial and change your life!’’

To date almost 200 men have participated in the six-week programme, which offers practical advice to help men over 50 deal with life’s many ups and downs. North Belfast Men's Shed have recently participated in the Good Vibrations programme and Chairman, Joe McCusker, commented;

“I had become aware of the issues surrounding men's health so I thought it worthwhile to sign up the North Belfast Men’s Shed for the programme. The information was very good and made the men aware of health problems and what they need to do about certain illnesses and conditions. I was particularly keen on the different exercises suggested and it makes you aware of what you need to do. It’s well known that many men at times do not bother about getting health issues checked out and the Good Vibrations programme is a good way of getting the message across.”

The Good Vibrations programme offers a wide range of support for men over 50, including a free men’s health brochure, access to an online wellbeing platform, 6 week men’s health sessions and social prescribing services to connect with their peers and local communities. Bespoke interventions are also available which consist of a mix of virtual, face-to-face, telephone, peer to peer and volunteer support.

To request a copy of the Good Vibrations Men’s Health Guide or sign up for the 6-week programme visit:

 Good Vibrations

If you, or an older person you know needs advice, information or practical support on a wide range of issues including welfare benefits, community care, housing and health, contact the Age NI Advice Service on 0808 808 7575. 


Last updated: Jun 12 2024

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