Funds as sui­cide in spot­light

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By MONTANA ARDON

HEALTH Min­is­ter Roger Cook vis­ited Gray­lands Hospi­tal on Thurs­day to an­nounce fund­ing to ad­dress the high rate of sui­cide in men in farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties, and to de­velop a statewide Men's Health and Well­be­ing Pol­icy.

He made the an­nounce­ment at the Mt Claremont fa­cil­ity, which held a Men's Health Fes­ti­val as part of In­ter­na­tional Men's Health Week from June 12-18.

The Mcgowan Govern­ment pledged to pro­vide men­tal health and well­be­ing ed­u­ca­tion for men in re­gional and re­mote farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties, who were iden­ti­fied as a pri­or­ity un­der the statewide sui­cide pre­ven­tion strat­egy.

Mr Cook said the pol­icy would fo­cus on men’s phys­i­cal health, men­tal health and well­be­ing.

“There are a num­ber of key in­di­ca­tors where men's health needs greater fo­cus, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing the gap in life ex­pectancy, the higher risks of obe­sity, al­co­hol abuse and rates of sui­cide,” Mr Cook said.

“We need a state-wide strat­egy to help sup­port the Na­tional Male Health Pol­icy in WA, and to com­ple­ment the WA Women's Health Strat­egy, and the Abo­rig­i­nal Men's Health Strat­egy.”

The Men­tal Health Com­mis­sion has awarded $310,000 in sup­port of the Re­gional Men's Health Ini­tia­tive, and $120,000 for the Health and Well­be­ing Pol­icy to com­ple­ment WA Women's Health Strat­egy and WA Abo­rig­i­nal Men's Health Strat­egy.

“Na­tion­wide, men are three times more likely to die by sui­cide than women, and in 2012, statis­tics showed that men liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas had a 78 per cent higher risk than men liv­ing in ma­jor cities,” he said.

“This fund­ing an­nounce­ment waves the che­quered flag for Men's Health Week and this year's theme of Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: Keep­ing the Bal­ance.”

Health Min­is­ter Roger Cook with Michelle Davies from the Can­cer and Pal­lia­tive Care Net­work, which had a stall at the Men’s Health Fes­ti­val.

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