p>The launch of Men’s Health Week is a great way of promoting awareness of male health issues, the Minister for Indigenous Health and Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon, and the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, said today.
THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP
Minister for Indigenous Health, Rural and Regional Health and Regional Services Delivery
THE HON BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
Minister for Home Affairs
15 June 2010
The launch of Men’s Health Week is a great way of promoting awareness of male health issues, the Minister for Indigenous Health and Rural and Regional Health, Warren Snowdon, and the Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, said today.
The launch was celebrated with a penalty shoot-out at Parliament House in Canberra today between the Australian Federal Police and ‘Docceroos’ – a team of soccer-playing doctors.
“It encourages men to make the right choices about way they can improve their own health, while showcasing the wide range of resources available to help them to do this,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Australian men too often resort to the ‘strong, indestructible Aussie male’ stereotype to deny themselves access to health care that could improve or even save their lives,” Mr Snowdon said today.
“Men’s health week is a good time to challenge this stereotype, to think more about the issue of male health, and to acknowledge and celebrate the significant contribution blokes of all ages make to our society,” Mr O’Connor said.
Australian males have, on average, a shorter life expectancy than Australian females, dying at 79 years compared with 84 years for females.
ACT Chief Police Officer Roman Quaedvlieg said he saw a range of men’s health issues that his officers dealt with on a daily basis.
“Issues such as trauma and stress from attending crime scenes, to fatigue and general body wear and tear. I urge men of all ages to look after their physical and mental health,” he said.
Captain of the Docceroos, Nick Rendina said the awareness campaign was vital to promote health messages to men.
“It’s important we remind men to take a proactive approach to health, so we can get men to engage in preventative health practices," Mr Rendina said.
The Rudd Government recently released Australia’s first-ever male health policy, delivering on an election commitment to assist men of all ages to improve their own health.
“The policy provides practical suggestions for action, especially in areas where we know we can make a difference in improving the health of Australian males,” Mr O’Connor said.
The National Male Health Policy will engage males about their health, raise awareness about preventable health problems affecting males, reduce access barriers, improve the use of existing health resources for males and, identify and target groups of men with poor health outcomes.
To complement this, the Rudd Government has invested $16.7 million to tackle male health challenges. This includes:
- $6.9 million for a longitudinal study into the social determinants of male health
- $3 million to support the work of the Australian Men’s Sheds Association, the largest contribution to men’s sheds an Australian government has ever made, providing meeting places where men can find social support
- $6 million over three years to promote the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and to encourage them to participate actively in their children’s and families’ lives.
“It is now up to governments, health professionals, community organisations and males themselves to work together to improve the health and wellbeing of males across Australia.
“I encourage all Australians to take action to help males make good decisions about their health,Mr Snowdon said today.
The male health policy is available at www.health.gov.au/malehealthpolicy.
Alice Plate (Snowdon) 0400 045 999
Jayne Stinson (O’Connor) 0458 547 512