Nine out of 10 Australian men say they want to see increased Federal Government funding to improve men’s health, says a new study published on International Men’s Day, 19 November.
The majority of men surveyed by the Australian Men’s Health Forum want to see more time, money and resources invested to help men lose weight, eat healthy, drink less alcohol and stop smoking.
Around 7 in 10 men said more action was needed to promote healthy lifestyles, which can help reduce men’s risk of conditions including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, bowel cancer, lung disease and dementia.
Men are also concerned about male suicide, according to the survey, with around 3 in 4 saying they want to see the majority of suicide prevention funding directed at male suicide.
The vast majority of men (85%) said that the Federal Government’s suicide prevention work should focus on tackling the social issues that can lead to male suicide. A smaller but significant majority (73%) also supported the push to provide men with more opportunities to talk about their mental health.
Glen Poole, CEO of the Australian Men’s Health Forum said:
“Australia is one of the world’s healthiest societies, yet men are still dying six years younger than women on average.
“Men account for 3 in 4 suicides, 2 in 3 preventable deaths and 4 in 5 heart disease deaths before the age of 65.
“The men we surveyed are telling us they want to see the government invest more time, money and resources into improving men’s health.”
While most men surveyed (70%) agreed that men need to get better at using existing health services, the vast majority (93%) said the health system needs to get better at making sure its services are working for men.
The findings echoes the direction of the Department of Health’s new National Men’s Health Strategy, which calls on all levels of government to focus on the health needs of men and boys. As part of its strategy to improve men’s health, the Government says it will do more to provide male-centred health information, programs and services to men.
The survey is being released to mark International Men’s Day, which is celebrated on 19 November every year in around 80 countries worldwide.
According to the survey, 83% of men supported an International Men’s Day to focus on the issues that impact men and boys.
76% of men also agreed it’s a good idea to have an International Women's Day in March to focus on the issues that impact women and girls.