Chemist Warehouse has partnered with media personality Gus Worland to take action on men’s health
The two are supporting the launch of the 2019 Gotcha4Life campaign, which raises awareness and funds during the current Men’s Health Week, which began on Monday.
The non-profit foundation was established with the aim of helping save the lives of Australian men and boys, promoting healthy masculinity and significantly improving their mental health.
Ambassadors lending their support include Australian cricketer Steve Smith, AFL Sydney Swan’s legend Jude Bolton, NRL player Jake Trbojevic, Rugby royalty Benji Marshall, Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, founder of The Kindness Factory Kath Koschel and Head Above Water founder Andrew Ward.
Mr Trbojevic, the vice captain of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, is featured in the current edition of Chemist Warehouse magazine The House of Wellness, in an article where he reveals that a friend with whom he played football had lost his life to suicide.
Mr Trbojevic discusses the importance of men’s mental health and that men should be able to express vulnerability.
Meanwhile Mr Worland said that men need to be able to trust and rely on each other to help improve their health, particularly their mental health.
“Find one of your mates and turn them into a proper friend,” he advises men. “It doesn’t mean you have to have deep and meaningful conversations every time you talk but someone in your life has to know what’s truly going on around your life.”
In announcing the launch of the 2019 campaign, Mr Worland pointed out that each year in Australia alone there are 65,300 suicide attempts, and 3,123 people successfully take their own lives, 2,348 of whom are men.
“At Gotcha4Life we are resolute that these statistics need to change and fast,” Mr Worland said.
“We see a world where boys, men, mates and communities are open, honest and supportive in their relationships, comfortable to express themselves when they are not okay. We envisage a society in which all males have a Gotcha4Life mate who can they open up to, warts and all and rely on no matter what.”
Mario Tascone, the My Chemist Group’s chief operating officer, told the AJP that the partnership with Gotcha4Life is on top of the group’s commitment to promoting women’s health, and draws on the brand’s strong performance with men.
“We see a good 60-40 split – about 40% of our customers are men, and a lot of men shop in our stores,” Mr Tascone said.
“So we’re over-indexing with men, and we’ve got a great reach, particularly with the sports promotions we do with the AFL and so on.
“So we’ve got a strong audience of men, and we’re the perfect vehicle for Gus and his team to get this message out.
“They do great work, and it’s not just older men – it’s all men, and they’re doing great work in schools, too.”
Meanwhile, a new report produced by the Australian Men’s Health Forum found that men’s health is lagging behind that of women.
The Men’s Health Report Card 2019 shows that Australia must do better, said AMHF president Jonathan Bedloe.
“Our sons are less educated than our daughters. Our brothers die younger than our sisters. Our fathers are more likely to die at work than our mothers. Our male friends are more likely to die by suicide than our female friends,” he said.
“The solution to these problems is not to stop working to improve the lives of women and girls, but to increase our efforts to tackle the issues facing men and boys. This means investing more time, money and resources into helping health services become more male-friendly and focused on the needs of men and boys.
“It also means looking at the wider social factors that shape men’s health, which include boys’ education, our experiences of fatherhood, our working lives, our financial wellbeing and our social connections.”
According to the report, which brings together the latest available data from a range of Government sources:
- 4 times more men under 65 die from more heart disease than women the same age.
- 1 in 3 men die of cancer compared with 1 in 4 women.
- 3 in 4 suicides are men (with 6 men and 2 women dying each day on average).
- 93% of workplace fatalities are men.
- 3 in 4 road fatalities are male, with 3 men and boys a day dying in road accidents.