North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network service in-depth: Men’s health services

Care In Mind image for Facebook
  22 November 2019  NWMPHN   |   Third party content – view disclaimer

What is men’s health?

Thanks to the popularity of the Movember movement, November has become the month to discuss men’s heath and health issues.

NWMPHN employees with moustaches as part of the Movember initiative.
NWMPHN’s Movember team for 2019 (click to donate or learn more).

Movember, which started in Melbourne, has become the leading charity raising awareness of men’s health issues in Australia. Growing a Mo in November helps to raise funds and awareness of men’s physical health – specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer – and mental health. Movember is aiming to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25 per cent by 2030.

What are men’s health issues?

Men in Western societies such as Australia are less inclined than women to take an active role in maintaining their health.

Women are more likely to have regular contact with doctors because of reproductive issues such as menstrual periods, contraception and pregnancy. Men do not have a similar reason to regularly see a doctor. They are also less likely to seek professional help for problems, particularly those of an emotional nature.

Physical health

The leading causes of death for Australian males are:

  1. Ischaemic heart disease
  2. Trachea and lung cancer
  3. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
  4. Cerebrovascular diseases
  5. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  6. Prostate cancer
  7. Colon and rectum cancer
  8. Diabetes
  9. Blood and lymph cancer, including leukaemia
  10. Suicide

Males outnumber females in many causes of non-sex-specific deaths. For example:

  • Suicide – 75 per cent of deaths are male
  • Trachea and lung cancers – 60 per cent of deaths are male
  • Blood and lymph cancers (including leukaemia) – 58 per cent of deaths are male
  • Ischaemic heart disease – 57 per cent of deaths are male
  • Colon and rectum cancers – 55 per cent of deaths are male

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2016).

Mental health

The Western definition of masculinity includes strength and silence. Men may feel that it is a sign of weakness or ‘femininity’ to seek help.

One out of every six Australian men experiences depression at any given time. Teenagers and the elderly are particularly at risk. Male depression is associated with an increased risk of health disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Men are likely to resort to destructive behaviours in an attempt to deal with depression.

Men experiencing depression are twice as likely as women experiencing depression to abuse alcohol and drugs. Men often try to manage their symptoms of depression by using alcohol and other drugs, which make the symptoms worse.

Depression is a known high-risk factor for suicide. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men of all ages die by suicide at a higher rate than women.

What services are available for men in the north western Melbourne region?

There are a number of services available in the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network region that may be appropriate for men’s physical and mental health issues.

[accordions_pickplguins id=”14223″]

How do I refer?

Wellbeing Support Services can be accessed through

Targeted Psychological ServicesIntensive Support Services and Suicide Prevention Services are coordinated through CAREinMIND. While a mental health treatment plan is not required, creating one does provide additional useful information for the receiving clinician and a legitimate source of income for the referring clinician. Referral forms are available here. 

AOD services are accessed directly through the provider. Use the System of Care search tool to navigate to the appropriate NWMPHN commissioned service provider. Or alternatively via HealthPathways, which includes PHN and state-funded services:

Men’s Sheds

Men’s Sheds are an updated version of the backyard shed that has long been a part of Australian culture. They create a friendly environment where men of all ages can come together and work on meaningful projects at their own pace, in their own time and in the company of other men. A major objective is to advance the health and wellbeing of their members.

There are a number of Men’s Sheds in north western Melbourne, find a local one at

Tweddle Working Out Dads

Tweddle Child and Family Health Service runs a program in Melbourne’s west for dads with a child under four years of age living at home. Working Out Dads aims to connect, support and strengthen the capacity of dads in the very early years of parenting. The program promotes healthy lifestyle choices and helps dads to feel less isolated and more resilient and supportive during the transition to early parenting. More information is available on the Tweddle website.

Sons of the West

Sons of the West is a free health program for men aged 18 and over who live and work in Victoria’s west. The 10-week program aims to improve men’s health and wellbeing through a series of workshops, presentations and healthy activities. The program is delivered by Hobsons Bay City Council and the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.

To register your interest in future programs register online or email:

GPs and referrers can recommend an individual to the Sons and Daughters of the West programs using the participant recommendation form (.pdf, 76KB).

Men’s sexual health services

The Melbourne Sexual Health Centre has information on a number of sexual health services available to men in the region. More information is available on their website.

Where can I get more information?

Question, Persuade and Refer training

Access to free online suicide prevention training is available for people who live in Melbourne’s north west. Question, Persuade and Refer (QPR) are the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. QPR training will provide you with:

  • Knowledge and skills to identify warning signs that someone may be suicidal
  • Confidence to talk to them about suicidal thoughts
  • Assistance to connect them with professional care

Visit to sign up for free QPR training. It only takes one hour to complete.

HealthPathwaysHealthPathways Melbourne

If you do not have access to HealthPathways please contact

Disclaimer: This article was provided by NWMPHN. While every effort has been made to ensure the information is accurate, North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network does not warrant or represent the accuracy, currency and completeness of any information or material included within.