Ararat community leaders discuss men’s health for Men’s Health Week | The Ararat Advertiser


mens health week, ararat, mental health, physical health, community

MEN are being asked to roll up their sleeves for a different sort of work this week: working towards better physical and mental health. Men’s Health Week is an important week that highlights men’s health and the lack of communication and action. Men are far less likely to talk about their health, or even visit their GP for a check up. Men’s Shed groups are an important platform not only for men to socialise but also to feel at ease talking about their health. IN OTHER NEWS: Ararat Men’s Shed secretary Robert O’Connell said Men’s Shed is a great way to get men talking about health. “Mental health is one of the priorities within the Men’s Shed,” he said. “With the age group being older or retired men they tend to be socially isolated, which is one of the reason’s the Men’s Shed was set up to begin with so men can engage with each other and deal with things like social isolation.” Mr O’Connell said getting men to talk about their health is difficult but younger generations are better at it. “The current generation and the next generation will speak openly more than my generation, I’m in my 60s,” he said. “With my parents’ generation, men didn’t talk about themselves at all. “In the men’s shed, people talk about their physical health but not their mental health.” Mr O’Connell said the men’s shed is a good starting point and helped men get out of their heads and feel more comfortable in talking. “It’s an informal setting,” he said. “For a lot of men, working on something is a way of socialising with other men.” This year’s theme for Men’s Health Week is “Connecting for Men’s Health” and to connect and work together across genders, cultures and communities. Men’s Health Week is an important week that highlights the health of Australian men and boys, because the health status of males in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of females. Grampians Community Health chief executive officer, Greg Little said connections can be vital to men looking after themselves. “Men are very overrepresented in health statistics, we are less likely to look after ourselves, probably because we tend to be greater risk takers,” he said. “At the same time men do care about their mates, ‘I’m alright but I’m worried about old mate next door, he should do something about it’.” Mr Little said men think there has to be a reason to talk about their health “What men need to do is to talk to people they care about and listen to them. Family and friends are always great sources of home truths and advice. “Take the words of encouragement, go see a GP, do little steps and start with the things they enjoy. “The times I have seen a health service provider I have always come out better and stronger and healthier for the experience, I’m no picture of health, we don’t need to be, but I am a lot healthier for listening to my family, friends and health care providers.” As a community, it only takes one quick conversation with a neighbour, to start a friendship. To reduce social isolation and begin steps towards a safe environment where men can talk about their health. While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox from The Ararat Advertiser. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from across the Ararat shire, sign up here.


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