Working with Men

Men’s Health Week

About Men’s health week

The men’s health week is a week to celebrate men and talk more about their health. You may wonder why men’s health is so important. The answer is simple –  the male population health status is relatively poorer than that of females in Australia. This is not an Australian phenomenon as much as it is a global phenomenon. The life expectancy of men in Australia is lower and more male die at every stage of life. They are also more likely to have accidents, commit suicides, and suffer health conditions linked to lifestyle than females within their age group.

Despite this higher vulnerability to health conditions, males are also less likely to visit and use health services which have led to the perception or stereotype that they do not care about their health as well as the fact that health care services are not equipped to effectively interact with men.

But Men’s Health Week goes beyond this. The week started in 1994 in the United States and was created by the US Congress to increase awareness about preventable health problems and also promote early detection, treatment and management of diseases among boys and men. In Australia, localised and small Men’s Health Week events started in Victoria around 2000, and it later spread to New South Wales.

The second world congress of men’s health was held in 2002 in Vienna, Austria. This even brought six men’s health organisations together, and it was here that the decision was made to organise international events every June, right before Father’s Day in the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Vienna Men’s Health Declaration

The Vienna congress set to establish;

  • Promotion of awareness of men’s approach to health
  • Recognition of men’s health as a critical issue, and there are health issues that are peculiar to men.
  • Changing the health care approach so it can be more sensitive to men’s needs
  • Connecting social and health policies to achieve men’s health goals
  • Creating community and school programs targeting young men and boys

The Men’s Health Week in Australia serves as a platform for debating and challenging men’s health issues so as to raise awareness about men’s health profiles, their health needs, and the outcome. The approach focuses on celebrating the strengths of men, their contributions, and the roles they play. This week is all a week of engagement and celebration of men without losing focus of the health issues.

The week is an opportunity for you to make a positive difference in the lives of the male population, and it includes different programs and events in different localities and communities. In light of the pandemic, most events this year are hosting online, and people can connect from anywhere in Australia.