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‘Building healthy environments’ for Men’s Health Week

This week (June 13-19) is Men’s Health Week, which aims to promote and support the health and wellbeing of men and boys – including physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Men’s Health Week is held in mid-June each year, with this year’s theme being building healthy environments for men and boys in the home, workplace and in social settings.

Suicide prevention organisation OzHelp says suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 45, and a leading cause of death in other age groups. What’s more, one in eight men experience depression and one in five men experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.

The organisation adds that Indigenous men, men in rural communities and men in ‘high risk’ communities and industries have increased rates of physical and mental ill-health.

According to OzHelp’s ‘Men’s Health Facts’:

  • 3 out of 4 males are considered obese and many do not adequately participate in exercise
  • 1 in 2 men drink alcohol at a level that exceed daily consumption guidelines, and 1 in 6 still smoke daily
  • Men are more likely to experience self-injury or engage in high risk behaviours resulting in accidents
  • Men have significantly higher rates of workplace accidents than women
  • Australian men have a lower life expectancy than Australian women
  • Stigma remains a leading barrier to seeking help and support

“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,” says OzHelp, highlighting that 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.”

If you or someone you know needs support, you can speak to an OzHelp support officer on 1300 694 357 (9am – 5pm, Mon- Fri), access 24/7 support by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636, or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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