Managing men’s health in rural areas



Men’s Health Week is 12-18 June.

Men’s Health Week raises awareness of men’s health, and promotes activities and events to engage men and boys in health-related activities.

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) care for men in rural and remote communities, and the College believes that many men in rural areas do not engage with preventative health.

Men in rural industries are at higher risk of accidental injury, and higher rates of mortality from preventable cancers. The Men’s Health Website reports that “men take their lives at four times the rate of women.”

Rural men often fail to take preventative health measures and they have high rates of alcohol dependence, and the situation is compounded by difficulties in health care due to rural medical workforce shortages.

For many men going to see a doctor may be perceived as a sign of weakness.

Men’s Health Week is an opportunity for men to reach out to rural health practitioners and discuss any physical or mental health issues that may be of concern. It is also a time for men to reflect on their daily habits and consider ways to improve their overall health.

ACRRM suggests communities engage men in the conversation and cover a range of subjects such as:
  1. How to avoid cancer e.g. screening and regular check-ups explaining how most common cancers can be prevented or cured with early detection.
  2. How to side steps strokes and heart attacks before it is too late.
  3. Common farm injuries and their prevention.
  4. Understanding the six reasons for poor mental health and the difference between mental illness and poor mental health.
  5. Successful suicide prevention strategies for the community.