Men’s health facts in focus

International Men’s Health Week presentation at Mooloolah Men’s Shed

ENCOURAGING men to look out for their mates, as well as taking better care of their own health, will be a focus at the Mooloolah Men’s Shed this Saturday (June 15 at 10.30AM) as part of International Men’s Health Week.
A presentation forum titled ‘Know Your Man Facts’ will give recent research and strategies for improving different aspects of men’s social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Designed by the Australian Men’s Health Forum, the peak national body in the men’s health sector, the new research challenges some stereotypes around men’s health and gives solutions found to be more workable.
AMHF member and former national board member, Paul Mischefski, from Mooloolah Valley said one of these key areas was in men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
“A lot of the narrative so far has been that men just need to speak up more and express their feelings, Mr Mischefski said.
“While that is important, a newer approach has shown that a big factor in some male suicide is not so much mental health, but what is called ‘situational distress’.
“This where a man finds himself in a situation that he can see no way out of, support or solution to, and gives up hope.”
Mr Mischefski said it was important for men to look out for mates who may be “doing it tough” and becoming isolated, helping them discuss and assist with solutions. Mateship and authentic connections were two of the biggest predictors of good social and mental wellbeing.
“Recent studies by the Movember Foundation found that more Australian men than ever in history have been accessing mental health services, but there has also been a significant dropout rate because it is often not realised that men feel, express and emote differently to the way women do,” he said.
“There has been a greater understanding and a push for more effective ‘male-friendly’ support services that better understand men’s natural ways of responding.”
Mr Mischefski said a positive sign in recent years was the strong movement of men’s groups springing up in many towns around the country.
Now in its 30th year, Men’s Health Week also has a strong focus on encouraging more men to have regular health checkups.
The presentation will also look at local initiatives being done by the Men’s Shed and men’s groups run by Queensland volunteer organisation Men’s Wellbeing Inc.