Men and boys don’t access health services as often as women, with one in four not having seen a doctor in the past 12 months*.
With this in mind, Hunter New England Health is partnering with other health organisations this Men’s Health Week (15-21 June) to offer a free Men’s Health Expo for the general public on Wednesday, 17 June at Wests Leagues Club, Cardiff.
The Men’s Health Expo will cover the latest information on male health as well as displays from organisations including The Heart Foundation, NSW Cancer Council, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lifeline. The day will also include lifestyle and fitness information, demonstrations, promotions, and free health screens, as well as a range of seminars for health and service agency staff and volunteers.
Men’s Health Coordinator Ken McKenzie said many deaths and diseases are preventable or can be avoided with simple measures, so it is vitally important that both women and men are aware of the things that affect the health of Hunter men and boys of all ages.
“Major killers include heart attack, pneumonia, asthma and other lung conditions, stroke and diabetes as well as lung, bowel, prostate, skin and testicular cancer,” Mr McKenzie said.
“But just as important is the often ‘hidden’ incidence of male suicide, depression, self-harm, violence and accidents, which most people aren’t aware are the biggest killers of young men and boys between the ages of 5 and 45.
“The other message we want men to know is that recent research has shown that, for many men, the reason they don’t always access health services is not that they don’t care about their health, but because they have been brought up to ‘tough it out’ and put work and family ahead of their health,” Mr McKenzie said.
“We are asking that bosses, wives, partners, families, friends and even children encourage men to both come to the Expo and to book a full men’s health check with their GP,” Mr McKenzie said.
The Expo is also an opportunity for people working in the health and services industry to undertake some free training seminars.
“During the day we’re also providing free seminars to anybody working in the area of men’s health, including volunteers,” Mr McKenzie said. “It is about learning how to make services friendly for men, reaching out to engage men and supporting the good work of organisations within the community.”
The 30-minute seminars will cover Workplace Wellness, Aboriginal and Multi-Cultural Men’s Health, Connecting Fathers to Services, Minding your Mates for suicide prevention, How to Engage Young Men and Men Saying Yes to Family Peace.