International Men's Day 2023: Why does Male Wellbeing Matter?

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Clicking into my phone this morning one hour after waking up, in line with my new practice to reduce screen time and protect my headspace as I prepared to launch into the day, I was greeted with multiple posters and salutations from different quarters/people commemorating "INTERNATIONAL MEN'S DAY" 2023

Although the thought of men being celebrated felt good at first glance, I could have sworn that it was a prank. International men's day? What is this all about? I whispered to myself. Then I did a little search and only this morning did I realise that, International Men's Day is observed annually on November 19th to focus on men's health, promote gender equality, and celebrate the positive contributions men make to society. It provides an opportunity to address issues such as men's mental health, toxic masculinity, and the challenges faced by men in various areas of life. This year the central theme is "ZERO MALE SUICIDE", as illustrated in one of the official International men's day home page poster below.

If I had my way I would focus on celebrating the positive contributions men make to society all day, everyday, alongside our women-folk. From the relentless hard work to ensure a baseline level of comfort and safety on the nuclear family front, to various amazing contributions in different quarters, including professionally and otherwise, at different levels. It is however pertinent to recognise the fact that, of the approximately 700,000 people who die due to suicide every year, men are more likely to make a large percentage of this sad statistic, with rates quoted to be three times higher compared to women. If you ask for my opinion I'll say it doesn't do the world any good if the reverse was the case, as every single case of suicide is one too many. The theme today however got me reflecting on the various challenges that men could possibly encounter in their journey through life and I stumbled on the below statistics poster that made the rounds 5 years ago.

Although the practice of comparing male to female outcomes (and coming up with indices like the ones noted above) might be an age long phenomenon, I will urge readers to keep an open mind and take a more positive/holistic approach to these and related issues. International men's day should be a day to reflect on how to contribute our quotas both individually, as men living by example, and as a group, to not only appreciate the flavour men should ideally bring to everywhere we find ourselves but to also work on reducing the statistics to zero percent (0 %) for every single challenge. It would have been amazing if we could all possess magic wands 💫 to wave at these issues and make them go away. Unfortunately even against all odds, as the case may be in several regions of the world we live in today, we all have to persistently make concerted efforts to pull our weights and tackle the challenges one day at a time, until we can pat our chests to say that we have made significant progress and beyond. For those who are struggling with any form of anxiety and depression, the major precursor to suicide, please seek professional help as soon as possible and do not leave your family in the dark or put them through a lifetime of emotional pain, as Lori Prichard described in the TEDx Ogden YouTube footage below. 


TEDx Ogden


Hang in there until you find liberation. Engage in regular/more physical activity to clear your headspace. Eat right as much as possible and partake of activities that make you happy. Be kind to yourself and others. Seek clinical help for counselling and medication therapy if you must. You've got this.  Best wishes on International Men's Day 2023. 

From: Dr Oghenekevwe Daniel Ogidigben B.Sc., M.B.B.S., MRCGP in view.

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  1. Life of a man is no easy feat and is only fully appreciated with time and absense