Regional Men’s Health Initiative
Men in rural and remote Australia suffer higher rates of chronic disease, injury and suicide that men in our major cities. The Regional Men’s Health Initiative uses a bottoms-up community development model to improve men’s health and well-being by raising awareness and helping communities to respond to men and their families in crisis.
Wheatbelt Men’s Health, the organisation delivering the program, appointed Social Dimensions to conduct a mid-term review in 2011-12 and a final review in 2014. The reviews covered governance and operational issues and estimated the impact of the program. Our methods included in-depth and semi-structured interviews, analysis of documents, educational material and service statistics and even an on-line survey.
From 2010 to 2014 Regional Men’s Health community educators have delivered nearly 200 presentations involving 7000 people every year and service organisations and assisted, on average, at least one person a day who was in crisis or worried about a mate.
Our findings affirmed that Regional Men’s Health is making a significant and unique contribution to the health and well-being of rural men, their families and communities. Not only have they prevented some men from ending their lives, they are facilitating lasting social change in agricultural communities. This program has enabled them to extend their program beyond its traditional base of Western Australia’s grain and sheep growing areas to serve men in the north and east.
Follow the work of Regional Men’s Health on their website or hear one of their presentations next time a community educator is in your town.