The peak national forum promoting a social approach to male health and wellbeing
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Please sign the above petition to support MHIRC and men’s health in NSW…
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Men and Vulnerable Families Sector Development Group. We are a practice based group that is comprised of 15 organisations across NSW and Australia. We are concerned about the recent decisions made by your government concerning men’s health in NSW.
Over the last decade, the New South Wales Government has played a key role in supporting, promoting and improving men’s health. This has been achieved through the key role that the Men’s Health Information Resource Centre (MHIRC) has played with a modest amount of funding they receive. They have supported the expanded focus on men’s health in many communities and workplaces. This is through community awareness in the general community and many Aboriginal communities that has led to increased responsibility taken by organisations regarding supporting men to improve health and relationship issues.
However these gains are at risk by the NSW Government’s decision to not renew the NSW Men’s Health Policy at the end of June 2013. Without this policy, we will move back towards an attitude of complacency towards men’s health issues, which in turn may lead to increased depression and suicide and reduced productivity.
We understand the importance of regularly using tender processes to ensure the economic value and quality provision of services. However we strongly request that the tender for men’s health work in NSW is not split into separate projects. This will dilute the effectiveness of many men’s health work as well as increasing the incidental costs across a number of organisations. Splitting up the projects (for what is a very modest amount of money) will reduce the funding available to do this work.
We also request that MHIRC’s funding be renewed to ensure they can continue to play this key role. Without the role that MHIRC plays, projects like MENGAGE and men’s health week, that have attracted national and international attention in previous years, will be threatened or cease to exist. Without an overall plan there will also be no coordination of men’s health work in NSW for the continuation of this work.
This is the first year (since 2001) that the NSW government has not sponsored the National Men’s Health Conference. NSW Government support of men’s health and the national conference has been part of the reason why it is now one of the premier international events for men’s health. This year’s event has a large number of international speakers who will leave knowing that NSW has diminished its interest and investment in men’s health.
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