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AMHF: Male Health In Australia - A Call For Action

Associate Professor Gary Misan PhD prepared this resource for and on behalf of the Australian Men's Health Forum, outlining the current health status and health challenges for men in Australia.

Australian Men's Health Forum Inc.

 

The Australian Men's Health Forum (AMHF) states that in order to improve the alarming state of male health the National Male Health Policy 2010 (NMHP) needs to be endorsed and funded by Government. Policy, practice and funding is crucial for the improvement of men's health in Australia.

Overview

Life expectancy for Australian non-Indigenous men is on average 4 years shorter than women (ABS). Men also suffer from high rates of preventable chronic diseases. A higher proportion than women suffer from most non-sex specific diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer and mental illness. More men than women die of road vehicle accidents, suicide and injury, as well as occupationally related death and injury.

Men living in rural areas have a life expectancy of 3-4 years less than men living in urban areas, and Indigenous men have a life expectancy of at least 11 years less than non-Indigenous men. This is mostly due to socio-economic disadvantage, poor access to services, drug and alcohol abuse, and cultural dislocation.

Mental illness affects nearly half of the Australian male population, with anxiety and depression, substance use disorders and affective disorders being the most commonly reported disorders. Around four men per day die by suicide. Men living in rural and remote locations are more likely to die by suicide than their urban counterparts.

In view of these dire facts there is an urgent need to address the situation and work on improving men's health in Australia. There are no administrative structures in Australia for men's specific concerns at present.

Key suggestions for addressing the issues in male health include:

  • More funding for male health research as well as evaluation of current and future projects and interventions.
  • The National Male Health Policy needs to be reinvigorated and funded.
  • Male-specific prevention strategies to address men's health issues.
  • Addressing issues in regards to health service use and perceived barriers to male health-seeking.
  • Policy, health services and health promotion programs that better accommodate the differing social constructs for males and acknowledge the factors influencing their health-seeking behaviour.
  • Health promotion programs that are targeted to males.
  • Health professionals and services that have better understanding of the factors that influence male health and health seeking behaviours.

Resources Available

 

 

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