WA Male Health and Wellbeing Policy
We have had a significant focus on advocacy and lobbying activities across government and opposition factions to gain commitment for a WA Male Health and Wellbeing Policy prior to and in the lead up to the election. Some disappointing lack of interest from some areas has been well balanced by some encouraging responses. To this end, we have had a number of meetings with MPs where we have been able to communicate a strong message that has focused on:
- Highlighting the evidence and trend of poor male health and wellbeing outcomes and benefits of improving this.
- Emphasising that we believe there is strong community support to take a positive and proactive approach to male health and wellbeing.
- Creating a clear pathway through noting that we believe a Western Australia Male Health Policy and Strategy needs to be informed by the National Male Health Policy, be adapted to Western Australia’s unique and specific needs, as well as support and sit alongside the Western Australian Women’s Health Strategy 2013-2017.
- Calling for action via commitment and support of a Western Australian Male Health Policy and Strategy.
This lobbying and advocacy activity to get a male health policy and strategy in place is a critical foundation to sustainable improvement in male health and wellbeing. A policy will provide a long term framework and practical guidance for improving the health of all males in Western Australia – in particular for high risk male population groups. Then, the strategy will provide the strategic direction and key actions that are needed to make significant and meaningful improvements in male health in Western Australia. This of course will drive the much needed funding, other resources, initiatives, and collaboration and coordination needed to make a real and long term difference.
Sector Needs Analysis
In our capacity as the peak boy for male health and wellbeing in WA and as part of our commitment to the Department of Health, we are conducting a comprehensive analysis on the needs of the male health and wellbeing sector in WA. The results from this survey will play an important role in contributing to identifying the current needs and priorities of the sector.
As part of the needs analysis we have been going out to a broad range of agencies and individuals who work in the male health and wellbeing sector and broader health sector. We are gathering some rich and helpful information through some focus groups, meetings and questionnaires. The ultimate goal is to gather information that will assist us in supporting and promoting the sector most effectively to improve men’s health and wellbeing in WA. This includes driving adequate funding to support initiatives, supporting health and wellbeing sector services to engage men, and to support males to access relevant services available to them within WA.
We look forward to sharing the results in due course.
The Importance of Men’s Health and Wellbeing from a Young Man’s Perspective
Introducing Zac Northeast – Zac is completing an 8-week internship with us and we are love having such an exceptional young man being interested in and supporting the work that we do.
We asked Zac to write a passage for the newsletter on men’s health and wellbeing from his perspective. We hope you are inspired by his reflections as much as we were.
When I was boy, I thought I could do anything, be anything. It was like nothing, and certainly nobody, could stop me – It was as if I was invincible. Maybe it was that reckless “young guy” mentality; or maybe I was just hiding behind my outlandish behaviour and my boyish charm. When I grew older I felt that resiliency quickly slip away from beneath me, and as I got bigger, in a lot of ways I felt smaller. I began to confront what being a man really meant. Opening up to my feelings and emotions that I had embedded within myself, that I could run away from when I was young, but couldn’t now. As I learnt and understood more about myself, and my place in the world as a male, the main thing I learnt was that ‘becoming a man’ isn’t something comes with an easy to follow guide, and wasn’t something I could handle alone. From feeling invincible, all of a sudden I felt vulnerable.
The years of late adolescence, through to the early twenties and beyond, is a period of huge change – physically, mentally and spiritually – for any male. During this time, a man becomes heavily involved with an array of new lifestyles, relationships and responsibilities – all while still growing both physically and mentally, confronting new emotions, feelings and experiences along the way. During this time a young man will gain and lose friendships, maybe get their first full time job, fall in love, experience loss, heartbreak perhaps, and maybe even start a young family, and much more. Although exciting, these years can also be confusing, stressful and turbulent for any young man. An all-new series of foreign fears, pressures and conflicts begin to arise – not only externally but internally, too. The road ahead isn’t always steady, as a man looks to find their feet in the world, and even more importantly, stay on them.
The path from boyhood to manhood is one of twists, turns and learning curves. This is why men’s issues for men become so important, and why a holistic approach to health must be emphasised for the sake of positive growth, stability and wellbeing during this time of ongoing development. Often men feel they have to play a certain role, fill a certain idea of ‘manliness’ and fight off their problems alone. But all men are impacted by health and wellbeing issues, and that’s exactly why these issues must be considered with care and thoroughness, accompanied by positive action and outcomes, because, as I’ve learned, no man is invincible – No matter how hard we try to be.
How We Help Our Members
Remember that we are here to represent and support our members. If you have a special event you want to promote, news you would like us to share, assistance with a funding application or to discuss a project – we are always willing to have a chat and help where we can.
All of the work we have done and still need to do requires ongoing funding support. Whilst we continue to work to provide significant value to the Department of Health and receive further funding after FY17, this is not enough. Additional sources of funding are critical to being able to deliver our objectives.
We ask all of our members and interested stakeholders to encourage potential corporate sponsors to contact us to find out about the amazing sponsorship opportunities available to them to help us continue the work of improving the health and wellbeing of males across the Western Australian community.
Tax Deductible Donations
Men’s Health and Wellbeing WA is fortunate enough to have deductible gift recipient status. Donations to support the important work that we do is easy to do and always welcome!