AMBASSADOR: The inaugural Mates4Mates Australia's Greatest Mate, Toowoomba firefighter Justin Bygrave, is behind the initiative.
AMBASSADOR: The inaugural Mates4Mates Australia's Greatest Mate, Toowoomba firefighter Justin Bygrave, is behind the initiative. Kevin Farmer

Supporting Aussie men on International Men's Day

AUSSIE blokes are being encouraged to get behind their mates today and harness the power of friendship to help improve men's mental health and well-being.

November 19 is International Men's Day, an opportunity to acknowledge the positive contributions of men and raise awareness of men's health.

Research consistently shows men have poorer health outcomes than women across many areas and veterans charity Mates4Mates is challenging blokes to reach out to their mates and take active steps to improve their health together.

Mates4Mates works closely with Aussie blokes, providing support and rehabilitation to current and ex-serving Defence Force members who are wounded, injured or ill

Mates4Mates chief executive Troy Watson said mateship was a core part of rehabilitation.

"We provide a space for men and women to not only access services from qualified health professionals but use peer support and regular social connection to help with their recovery,” Mr Watson said.

"Everyone needs the support of a mate, whether they're part of the Defence family or not, and we can all take steps to help our mates achieve better mental well-being and health outcomes.

"Men consistently have poorer health outcomes than women, with men more likely to smoke, more likely to be overweight or obese and more likely to drink alcohol at risky levels.

"Many of these lifestyle behaviours can increase an individual's risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases.”

Mates4Mates CEO Troy Watson.
Mates4Mates CEO Troy Watson. Mark Greenmantle

Mr Watson encouraged all men to use International Men's Day as an opportunity to better themselves and help improve the lives of their mates.

"Use it as a time to think about nutrition and exercise together, consider quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake, and taking part in eligible screening programs,” he said.

"Taking a holistic approach to improving all areas of your health will provide both short and long-term benefits and improve overall quality of life.”

To find out more about Mates4Mates, visit mates4mates.org or phone 1300 4 MATES.


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