Canberra politician calls for Men’s Health Plan
The Australian Capital Territory's Shadow Minister for Health, Leanne Castley, has tabled a motion calling on the ACT Government to develop a 10-year Men’s Health Plan (2023-2033).
The move, timed to coincide with recent International Men's Day celebrations, has the backing of the Australian Men's Health Forum (AMHF).
Leanne Castley MLA also called on the ACT government to recognise International Men's Day, which falls on November 19 each year.
AMHF CEO Glen Poole said:
“We fully support the call for a Men’s Health Plan in the ACT.
"Issues like preventing male suicide, tackling men’s higher rates of premature death and ensuring men have easy access to male-friendly services need a targeted approach.
"We’d welcome cross-party support for the proposal to develop a Men’s Health Plan and would like to see the ACT Government working in partnership with local men’s organisations to improve the lives and health of men and boys in the Canberra region.”
Leanne Castley said:
"My motion calls on the Labor-Greens government to develop a plan that addresses men's health and wellbeing as well as the social circumstances that prevent men from accessing health when they need it.
"The Labor-Greens government has released important strategies to improve equity and access of health services for women and LGBTIQ+ groups. It is important for the government to continue this work and develop a parallel strategy for men's health."
The call is also backed by the Opposition spokesman for Mental Health, Ed Cocks MLA, who is particularly concerned about male suicide rates in the ACT. He said it is vital that there was a plan to deliver strong services and supports tailored to the needs of men and boys.
Research by AMHF found that the rate of male suicide in the ACT has doubled in the past five years despite the national rate staying the same for the same period. The male suicide rate was 10.8 per 100,000 population in 2016 and rose to 21.6 per 100,000 in 2021.
Men's Health Facts for the ACT
Based on the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
- 2 in 3 premature bowel cancer deaths are men (52 out of 79 deaths)
- 4 in 5 premature heart deaths are men (40 out of 52 deaths)
- 2 in 3 lung cancer deaths are men (33 out of 51)
- 3 in 4 suicides are men
Local Men's Health Organisations
Canberra and the ACT are home to a number of great men's organisations, many of which are referenced in this article: Leading Men's Health in the ACT.
The State of Men's Health in the ACT (AMHF Report 2019)
Call on ACT government to develop men's health plan (Canberra Times)