Men’s Health Week 2020
Men’s Health Week (15-21 June) provides an opportunity to focus on the importance of health and wellbeing of Australia’s men and boys.
While Australians generally have access to good health care on a whole, and our conversations around health and wellbeing are improving, there are prevailing barriers that prevent many men from getting the support they need.
Why is men’s health important?
Men and boys are vital members of our homes, workplaces, schools and broader communities. While men and women share many of the same health challenges, there are also risk factors and health concerns that are unique to men and boys.
The life expectancy of Australian men remains lower than for women, while the total disease burden for men is higher. Risk factors such as obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, use of illicit drugs and participation in high risk behaviours, are statistically more prominent in male cohorts, according to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
In addition to physical health concerns, mental ill health is a major factor in the quality of life for men, but also their risk of premature death.
Suicide is a leading cause of death for men at almost all stages of their life (ABS, 2018). Mental ill-health can also prevent men and boys from achieving positive social and economic participation – impacting their families, friendships, education and careers.
“We need to acknowledge that good health is defined by a complex mix of physical, mental and social factors. For men, there are things we can typically focus on to improve the wellbeing equation, but first we need to acknowledge where the issues lie,” says OzHelp CEO, Darren Black.
“At OzHelp we focus on holistic wellbeing screening as a means to identify mental health concerns alongside physical risk factors. We can then provide education, counselling and health referrals for prevention and intervention.”
OzHelp typically achieves this in a workplace setting, as a practical means of reaching people who otherwise might not access support.
Helping our men and boys
Whether we are men or women, we all have a role in supporting the health and wellbeing of men in our families, workplaces and communities.
We can start by looking out for our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, mates and colleagues.
An important first step is to be open in talking about both physical and mental ill-health. Removing stigma is essential.
Talk to your mates and don’t be afraid to have tough conversations if it looks like someone you know is struggling. If you yourself are struggling, get help – talk to someone you trust, go to a GP or speak to a counsellor. Access OzHelp services through your workplace, or find out more about what we provide.
By improving the health and wellbeing of Australia’s men and boys of all ages and from all walks of life, we can ensure a healthier, happier and stronger society in the future.
For more information visit OzHelp’s Men’s Health Page
Download OzHelp’s Men’s Health Factsheet