Families and healthy connections the focus of this year’s Men’s Health Week

A celebration of the positive contribution men make to families, and support families give to men is the focus of this year’s Men’s Health Week (11 – 17 June) – presented by the Western Sydney University’s Men's Health Information and Resource Centre (MHIRC).

The theme, ‘Men and Families: Making Healthy Connections’, will set the tone for a week of activities that will celebrate the strength of men and boys, as well as inspire discussion about how they can better contribute to their health, and the health of their families and local communities.

Director of MHIRC, Professor John Macdonald, says the week – to be officially launched by Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin – reminds us that the support we get from family and friends is important for our mental and physical health.

“Men’s Health Week is an important opportunity to acknowledge the way that connection with family will benefit a man’s health, and conversely how a man can connect and contribute to his family, whatever shape that family is,” says Professor Macdonald.

“There are many ways that men get blamed for their own health issues. That criticism may be justified in some circumstances, but Men’s Health Week is more a chance to celebrate the strengths of men and boys and how they can positively contribute to their health, and the health of their families and local communities.

“Yes, some health choices are up to the individual, like diet, exercise and alcohol intake, but some things that impact on health are outside an individual’s control.”

Assistant Director of MHIRC, Dr Neil Hall, says the week is a good time to reflect on such individuals who aren’t in control of their health – and what can be done to assist them.

“These are complex issues that impact the health of a man and his family, and so they require responses that are not oversimplified. For example, the man who has been the long-time breadwinner for his family but suddenly finds himself out of work may face physical and mental health issues not experienced before. The man who is renegotiating relationships because of separation or family breakdown. The man who is experiencing loss of culture and connection to land for indigenous families. The man whose farm faces foreclosure because of droughts or big business decisions, or boys who are bullied at school,” says Dr Hall.

To celebrate Men’s Health Week, organisers are encouraging people to organise – and register – an event in their community, workplace or organisation. Events can be any size, and can be fun, serious, or both.

Dr Hall says it is these events which have the potential to “make a positive difference in the lives of men and boys.”

For more information, or to register an event for Men’s Health Week go to: http://www.menshealthweek.org.au (opens in a new window)

Ends

4 June 2018

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer