Men’s health and wellbeing receives a boost

Research focusing on male health and wellbeing has received a considerable boost, with Flinders University and Flinders Foundation joining the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing.

During Men’s Health Week earlier this year, nine Flinders University research projects received funding from this newly expanded male health research alliance, across prostate cancer, Aboriginal health and mental health.

Among them was Professor Murray Drummond (pictured), whose research will seek to improve the mental health of young Indigenous and non-Indigenous males in South Australia and the Northern Territory. He will focus on the role of sporting clubs as “safe spaces” to promote mental health and wellbeing.

“Sport remains a significant rite of passage for males in Australian society,” Professor Drummond explained. “If we can make these often ‘masculinised’ sporting spaces, a space for men to feel comfortable about addressing any health issues they have, then that’s going to provide them with such important support.”

“The mental health and wellbeing of young males in particular is not being adequately addressed. They have a significant risk of self-harm and suicide, while those who identify as Indigenous and LGBTIQ are at even greater risk,” Professor Drummond said.

“It’s wonderful the Centre is mirroring the cultural shift in society and taking a holistic approach to men’s health by looking at every facet of health and wellbeing and how that can be improved - including mental, emotional and physical health.”

The Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing is a research alliance involving the Masonic Charities Trust (the charitable arm of Freemasons SA/NT), the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Flinders Foundation and SAHMRI, and Menzies School of Health Research in the Northern Territory.

"The initiative shown by  the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing will bring additional weight to our efforts to address some of the leading causes of male ill health, including prostate cancer and  mental health, with a particular focus on health and wellbeing for Indigenous men," says Professor Rob Saint Flinders University Deputy  Vice-Chancellor (Research).

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