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National Men's Health Policy Forums.



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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP

Minister for Health and Ageing

MEDIA RELEASE

19 February 2009

National Men’s Health Policy Forums

The Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, encourages men of all ages and backgrounds to take part in the Australian Government’s Men’s Health community forums to be held around the country.

The forums are aimed at consulting with men across the country about the issues that affect their health and wellbeing. The community consultations will assist the Government in the development of the first-ever National Men’s Health Policy.

The National Men’s Health Policy will have a “back to basics” focus that will incorporate innovative ideas from the consultations.

The national policy will identify areas for urgent attention, such as preventable cancers, mental health, suicide prevention, sexual and reproductive health, violence, accident prevention and alcohol and illicit drug abuse.

The Minister also today announced the appointment of three additional Men’s Health Ambassadors to assist the Government engage men in this important task.

Dr Mick Adams is the Chairperson of The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and has actively worked to promote men’s health.

Olympic diving gold medallist Matthew Mitcham is a courageous man; he battled depression and anxiety, and retired from the sport in his teenage years after physical and emotional burnout. In 2007, he returned to diving and at the Beijing Olympics claimed gold.

Dr Rob Walters is a practising GP in Hobart and is a past chair of the Australian Divisions of General Practice (ADGP). Dr Walters also hosts a regular ABC Tasmania segment talking about men’s health.

These three new ambassadors will join already announced ambassadors Professor David de Kretser, Tim Mathieson, Bill Noonan, Barry Williams and Professor John Macdonald.

The role of the ambassadors is to help the Government engage with the community in the development of this policy, by getting men talking about health issues.

Community forums across the country commence this week in Canberra, Launceston and Hobart to be followed in the coming weeks with forums in Melbourne and Bankstown. Further consultations will be held in the first part of this year.

For further information on the forthcoming Men’s Health community forums or to make a submission on the policy development visit www.health.gov.au/menshealthpolicy

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister’s Office on 02 6277 7220.