Western Australia has become the second state in Australia to develop a men's health policy following successful lobbying by the men's health sector in WA.
The Western Australian Men's Health and Wellbeing Policy, launched during Men's Health Week 2019, is designed to drive improved health outcomes for all men and boys in the State.
It aims to provide direction for the WA health system and its partners to provide effective services which will boost physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. The policy is underpinned by three goals:
- Men are empowered to be proactive in managing their health needs.
- Men have equitable access to services.
- Men's health and wellbeing needs and outcomes are monitored and evaluated.
The WA Health Minister, Roger Cook, said:
"There are many fundamental and compelling reasons to develop this policy and for our Government's commitment to do more for men's health across the State. Men continue to face poorer outcomes than women on many key health and wellbeing indicators.
"This is a much needed piece of work which outlines clear goals and areas requiring action where men and boys are at higher risk. It will lead to real gains, tangible actions and health improvements for men and boys, and for all those working with them, in communities across our State."
The state's peak body for men's health, Men’s Health & Wellbeing WA (MHWWA), facilitated an assembly to launch and welcome policy.
Dean Dyer, MHWWA board member and representative on the consultation group which informed the Policy’s development, said:
"Men and boys in WA continue to face much poorer outcomes than women and girls on many key health and wellbeing indicators. Males have significantly shorter life expectancy, a far greater burden of disease, the majority of injuries, workplace fatalities, road trauma, homelessness, jail population, children’s behaviour problems and learning difficulties at schools. We fully acknowledge and thank the WA Govt and all those who helped to make this policy a reality."
MHWWA Chair Dennis Beros said:
“I came away with a strong sense that attendees wanted a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to turn the tide. The meeting agreed that deep cross-sectoral conversations on all the issues were urgently needed and those present committed to participate in a series of whole-of-community ‘round tables’ over coming months. These will aim to map out existing programs, initiatives and services, and uncover obstructions, duplications, inefficiencies, and gaps. From there, we can identify opportunities to cooperate, collaborate, and better direct resources to save and improve the quality of the lives of our boys and men.”
There are now two states in Australia with active men's health policies, the other being New South Wales which launched its Men's Health Framework in 2018.
TAKE ACTION FOR MEN'S HEALTH
- Support Men's Health in WA: Men's Health and Wellbeing WA (website)
- Read: Community leaders agree to collaborate to improve men's lives (MHWWA)
- Read: WA Government media statement
- Read: AMHF launches WA Men's Health Report Card
- Resource: WA Men's Health and Wellbeing Policy (PDF)