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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Men, look after yourselves

MEN have been reminded to check in on their own health, as well as looking out for their mates, this Men’s Health Week.

The week is a reminder of the poor physical and mental health statistics that paint a bleak picture throughout every stage of a man’s life course.

PHOTO: Tatyoon farmer, Sean McDougall, said Men’s Health Week serves as an important reminder for men across the community. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

According to Lifeline, nine Australians take their own lives every day and 75 per cent of those are men.

Men’s Health Week says research also shows that males have more accidents and suffer from more lifestyle-related health conditions than females at the same age.

Grampians Community Health chief executive, Greg Little, said it is important men are reminded to look after themselves as well as those around them.

“We're all very good at knowing what's going on next door and around us, but we don't actually ever take stock and have a look at ourselves,” he said.

“No one else is going to do it for you, take the initiative, go and get a checkup, go and talk to someone.”

The male-dominated agriculture industry has long been a focus for health campaigns such as this week.

Live Rural director and Tatyoon farmer, Sean McDougall, believes the Ararat farming district does a good job at supporting each other, with events like Mellow in the Yellow, fostering connection.

“There's more awareness and younger generations are obviously better at talking to their mates or their partners when they actually do have a problem,” he said.

“We run a few Mental Health First Aid workshops and that's a good way to teach people in the community… [how to] identify people who might be having a difficult time.”

The National Centre for Farmer Health says rural men are often the first to help others but find it difficult to accept help themselves.

Mr Little said farmers, and all men, need to ensure their concern for mates doesn’t come as a detriment to their own health.

“You look out for mates which is important, please look after your mates, but don't forget yourself,” he said.

If you need support, book a GP appointment, call MensLine Australia (1300 789 978) for online counselling or SANE Australia (1800 187 263 or chat online) for people living with a mental illness.

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