The week-long annual event, held every year in June, is designed to draw attention to some of the health issues men face across their lifespan.
Assistant Director, Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre School of Social Sciences and Psychology, Western Sydney University, Neil Hall is part of the group organising this year’s event and says this year’s theme is all about ‘Men and Families - Making Healthy Connections.
“This year we are drawing attention to the social impact on men's health, not just the medical,” he explains.
“We are looking at what it is that contributes positively to men’s health and what are some of the things men, the community and the government are doing to improve male health.”
Dr Hall says that while the event is aimed at males of all ages, older men are a particular focus of this year’s campaign.
“Some things we know about older men beyond the medical dimension of health is that it is that post retirement age is a significant one for issues like depression, suicide, loss of the social network,” he explains.
“Transitioning into retirement can be hard for older men who have been in the workforce for all these years - giving them meaning - and the transition can be hard to navigate.
“We also know it can be a struggle for older men that are out caring for their partners.
“Social isolation is a major thing - whether it be from not having work mates or being isolated from family.”
Dr Hall says that Men’s Health Week is an encouragement to improve quality of life and outcomes for these older men, highlighting that one good thing about the event is that it is “very much” locally driven.
“There is a big emphasis on local events that are run by local communities - there are hundreds across the nation being run throughout the week,” he says.
“The fact that this is done at a very local level I think is brilliant because it means that every community can target their activities.
“Men like to communicate shoulder to shoulder, not face to face, and they like to talk when they are occupied doing something else.
“This Men’s Health Week is all about celebrating the strength of males in our community, how they manage their health and how they support the community.”
Federal Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt says the week-long focus offers a “timely reminder” to all men to consider their health and wellbeing and the impact that their ill health or even the early loss of their lives could have on the people who love them.
“The statistics speak for themselves - we need to look after ourselves better,” he says.
“That is why I am encouraging all men to take their health seriously, this week and every week of the year, and I have made men’s health a particular priority for Indigenous health.”
More information on Men’s Health Week, which is running from 11-17 June, is available online at http://www.menshealthweek.org.au/