Castley calls for Men’s Health Plan


Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Leanne Castley is calling on the ACT Labor-Greens government to develop a Men’s Health Plan (2023-2033) to address health, wellbeing services and initiatives, focusing on men and boys.

In a motion that will be put forward in the Legislative Assembly today, Ms Castley also calls on the government to develop a public health awareness campaign to promote preventative services for men and boys to access.

“Four out of five premature cardiac deaths that occur in the ACT are men,” Ms Castley said.

“Data also shows that men in the ACT are disproportionately affected by bowel disease and lung cancer, accounting for two out of every three premature deaths.

“My motion calls on the Labor-Greens government to develop a plan that addresses men’s health and wellbeing as well as the social circumstances that prevent men from accessing health when they need it.

“The Labor-Greens government has released important strategies to improve equity and access of health services for women and LGBTIQ+ groups. It is important for the government to continue this work and develop a parallel strategy for men’s health,” Ms Castley concluded.

The Australian Men’s Health Forum released a report card in 2019 on the performance of men’s health in the ACT.

The report identified that there are large disparities between men and women’s health outcomes. One of the key findings of the report was ‘we are unable to identify any significant strategic work focussed on men and boys’ health in the ACT’.

The 2019 report card also highlighted the importance of men’s mental and suicide prevention, noting the rate of male suicide in ACT had doubled over five years, while the national rate remained stable.

Ed Cocks Shadow Minister for Mental Health said, “Men face disproportionate suicide risk, and it’s vital that we make sure there is a plan to deliver strong services and supports that are tailored to the needs of men and boys.”

CEO of Australia Men’s Health Forum Glen Poole supported the motion saying, “We fully support the call for a Men’s Health Plan in the ACT”.

“Issues like preventing male suicide, tackling higher rates of premature death for men and ensuring easy access to male-friendly services with a targeted approach.

“We’d welcome cross-party support for the proposal to develop a Men’s Health Plan and would like to see the ACT Government working in partnership with local men’s organisation to improve the lives and health of men and boys in the Canberra region.”