Twelve months in the life of men’s health
It’s been a big year in men’s health and before we step into a New Year, it’s time to reflect on some of the key moments from 2019, momentous and memorable.
As our name suggests, AMHF is a forum, a place to discuss wide-ranging issues impacting men’s and boys’ health, as well as celebrate all that is being done to enhance their lives and improve health outcomes.
As an inclusive forum we welcome a diversity of viewpoints, so if you have any thoughts on these issues, we're happy to hear from you, whatever your opinion.
Let’s start at the very beginning …
Masculinity made headlines all over the English-speaking world in January thanks to two initiatives from the United States:
- The American Psychological Association's guidelines on working with men and boys
- Gillette's new advertising campaign which focuses on "toxic masculinity"
In response we published four lessons the men's health sector can learn from the Gillette advert.
In February, the debate about masculinity continued on the ABC’s Q&A, with Labor MP Terri Butler saying rigid gender roles hurt men and Liberal MP, Alex Hawke, citing boys’ education and male suicide as evidence that men and boys are experiencing an identity crisis.
Closing The Gap Day in March was an opportunity to focus on the health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys and we highlighted 3 facts about Indigenous male life expectancy.
In April, Minister for Health Greg Hunt launched the new National Men’s Health Strategy, which places a strong focus on the health sector working to deliver more male-friendly services.
We also marked World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, highlighting the fact that 93% of workplace deaths are men and taking a close look at OzHelp’s innovative Workplace Tune Up health and wellbeing screening program.
AMHF CEO Glen Poole spoke at the Australian Fatherhood Research Symposium in May, which brings together academics and practitioners from across Australia. Highlights of the event included keynote speaker Emma Walsh, from Parents at Work, who advocated for better parental leave rights for dads.
In June we marked Men’s Health Week by visiting seven cities in five days and publishing our series of Men’s Health Report Cards, outlining the state of men’s health nationally and in every state and territory.
During Men’s Health Week, Western Australia launched its Men’s Health and Wellbeing Policy making it the second state (after NSW) to develop a men’s health policy following successful lobbying by the men’s sector in WA.
In June we also ran the 2019 Men’s Health Awards, which attracted a record number of entries and concluded in the the Northern Territory in July, when Steven Torres Carne, a senior project officer at the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation (below), won top honours.
In August AMHF was involved in the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Ochre Day Men’s Conference and also took part in the 8th National Men’s Shed Gathering in Adelaide in September following Father’s Day, a time to acknowledge the many fantastic initiatives undertaken by the sector, such as the fast-growing Man with a Pram, driven by Sunshine Coast Father of the Year, Thomas Docking.
Also in September, the Queensland Government launched a new ten-year Suicide Prevention Plan which commits to making men’s suicide prevention a priority.
In October, our CEO Glen Poole took part in the Melbourne Marathon to raise money #4MensHealth and progress our plans to develop a culture of fundraising for Australia’s peak body for men’s health.
International Men’s Day in November was marked by more activity than ever before with AMHF leading the way promoting events on our International Men’s Day website. Our campaign to get Australia #TalkingAboutMen culminated in a survey of more than 150 men and revealed that Australian men want to see governments doing more to improve men and boys’ health.
Also in November, we attended a national forum on suicide prevention convened by the Prime Minister’s National Suicide Prevention Advisor, Christine Morgan. We continue to advocate for more action to prevent male suicide through our connection to Ms Morgan’s Expert Advisory Group.
In December we brought the year to a close with submissions to the National Obesity Strategy and the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Family Law and Child Support.
We also published our first ever impact report to highlight the work we do to support the men’s health sector, raise awareness of men’s health issues, promote men’s health events, advocate for men’s health in all policies and get the health service working for men and boys.
Once more, we thank you for your support throughout the year.
Have a safe and happy holiday, from the team at AMHF.
We look forward to working with you to create a healthier future for men and boys in 2020.