Making regional WA men more health aware

Royalties for Regions is continuing to invest in the success of its Regional Men's Health Initiative (RMHI), which has been servicing all of regional WA since 2010.

Member for the Agricultural Region, Hon Paul Brown MLC said National Men‟s Health Week, which runs from June 9 to 15, was an opportune time to highlight education and prevention approaches offered by RMHI that are helping improve male health outcomes in regional WA.

“Higher rates of suicide, diabetes, heart disease and accidents as well as increased situational stresses attributed to financial, relationship and isolation issues mean health outcomes are often poorer for regional men than their urban counterparts,” Mr Brown said.

“There has also been a traditional reluctance for men living with situational stresses or medical problems to access health services.

“However, programs run through RMHI encourage recipients to adopt behaviours and practices that enable them to better manage health and stress, resulting in individual gains and positive outcomes for communities.”

Anecdotal evidence shows RMHI increases community awareness of symptoms and management options for anxiety and depression, preventing suicide, and promoting the „how to help a mate‟ philosophy.

It also provides critical links to professional services for those in need.

“RMHI is successfully delivering projects and activities to change men‟s attitudes towards health and help their families address wellbeing and situational distress situations,” Mr Brown said.

“It has now worked across areas where 84 per cent of WA‟s regional population lives, engaged more than 200 stakeholder groups and last year alone brought 282 presentation, pit stop and trade display events to an audience of almost 9000 people.”

The program has received glowing references from organisations including the Royal Flying Doctor Service, One Life Suicide Prevention Strategy Centrecare, WA Association for Mental Health, Mental Health Advisory Council and countless rural GPs.

Royalties for Regions has committed a further $3.2million towards the RMHI over the next four years.

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