Few would argue that these past 18 months have been among the most challenging Australia has ever faced. Droughts, fires, floods and a global pandemic have provided the backdrop to unprecedented economic upheaval, restrictions on our social interactions and outbursts of civil unrest.
So, the theme for this year’s Men’s Health Week is timely and a balm for troubled times.
Running from 14 to 20 June 2021, Men’s Health Week facilitators from Western Sydney University have chosen “Connecting for Men’s Health” to spark discussion and develop ideas and events that “connect and work together across genders, cultures and communities.”
Dr Neil Hall, Director of Academic Program (Social Work and Community Welfare) said making connections would have a significant impact for men and boys.
Connecting with family is key to improving male health.
Connecting with mates is also life-giving. “We know that research says that having three good friends adds seven years to your life,” said Dr Hall.
Connecting with community is an effective way to combat isolation and loneliness. A great way to mark Men’s Health Week would be to attend, or run an event that may continue into the future for participants, for example joining a sports team, getting involved in an arts project, finding out what is happening at the local library.
Western Sydney University is a strong advocate of developing male-friendly services that meet men where they are, and which cater to diverse needs in more impactful ways. Connecting with services during Men’s Health Week celebrates the unique ways workplaces can develop programs specifically for males.
Connecting the dots recognises that many social factors underpin men’s health and can derail a person’s life and wellbeing in any number of ways, such as being unemployed, having a low income, experiencing a relationship break-up, disconnection from family and dispossession from land and culture to name a few.
Men’s Health Week is a way of showing how services, policy-makers and funding bodies can connect the dots between these broader factors and the health of men and boys.
If you are planning to host an event in your community or workplace during Men’s Health Week head to https://www.menshealthweek.org.au/events/submit-event to have it listed or contact the organisers [email protected]
Find out more
The website contains guides for health services and practitioners “to better understand why a male-specific approach towards men’s and boys’ health is recommended.”