Mateship and Check-Ups: Taking Care of Ourselves on the Land This Men’s Health Week

Mateship and Check-Ups: Taking Care of Ourselves on the Land This Men’s Health Week

Hello everyone. This post has been encouraged by 2 things: firstly, because it’s Men’s Health Week this week and secondly, I have had a number of people contact me following my previous post about my health situation. So I feel I owe a few folks an update.

It’s Men’s Health Week (June 10th-16th, 2024), and for the blokes out on the land, this is a time to acknowledge the unique challenges and triumphs that come with working in Australian agriculture. We all know the importance of a good season and a strong herd, but this week, let’s shift the focus to another kind of strength: taking care of ourselves.

Why is Men’s Health Important in Agriculture?

The statistics tell a story. Rural and regional men in Australia have a lower life expectancy than our city counterparts. We’re more likely to experience mental health issues and tragically, suicide rates are higher in rural areas. The demanding nature of farm work, isolation, lack of access to service and the “she’ll be right” attitude can all contribute to neglecting our health.

Looking After Your Body and Mind

This Men’s Health Week, let’s commit to changing the narrative. Here’s a toolbox for our rural blokes:

  • Get Checked Regularly: Schedule regular check-ups with your GP. Don’t put off screenings for skin cancer, prostate cancer, and other health concerns. Early detection is key.
  • Mind Your Mental Health: Farming can be stressful. Talk to a mate, a family member, or a mental health professional if you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s no issue in seeking help.
  • Sun Safety: A familiar enemy for farmers, sun exposure increases skin cancer risk. Slip, slop, slap with sunscreen, wear a hat, and seek shade during peak UV times.
  • Move Your Body: Staying active is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing. Find activities you enjoy, whether it’s a walk with the dog, a footy game with mates, or joining a gym.
  • Healthy Eating: Fuel your body with nutritious meals. Pack healthy lunches for the farm, and don’t rely on grabbing quick, unhealthy options.
  • Hydration is Key: Stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during hot weather. Carry a water bottle and sip regularly.

Mateship and Support

The Aussie spirit of mateship is deeply ingrained in the agricultural community. This Men’s Health Week, let’s use that spirit to support each other. Check in with your mates, ask how they’re doing, encourage them to prioritize health, and remind them they’re not alone.

Resources for Rural Men’s Health:

Remember, blokes, looking after yourself isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of strength. Let’s make Men’s Health Week a springboard for a healthier, happier future for ourselves, our families, and our mates.

And me ……?

Well, I’m still standing and that’s a good thing (any day above ground is a good day). I’m not 100% yet but I am improving slowly. Heart and lungs seem to be behaving which were the big concerns in the first instance, but my liver is playing up a bit and that’s a bit of a surprise to me as a very low alcohol consumer over the years, although it has opened me up to a number of quality ‘jibes’ about the truth behind my alleged consumption levels! So, I very much looking forward to seeing you all out on property!

By Scott Brown

If you would like more information about this topic or any others, purchase any First Aid stock or equipment, or to book a Remote Area First Aid course, please contact us on 0491 057 339 or email info@ruralandremotefirstaid.com.au

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Author bio:

For over 23 years Scott Brown has been training Remote Area First Aid across Australia. Having first joined Rural Ambulance Victoria in 2001 and working in the high-country in Victoria, he began teaching First Aid for Rural Ambulance Victoria. 23 years on, he works with some of Australia’s largest pastoral corporations and property managers that combined manage over 200,000 square kms of the Australian landscape.

Known for conveying detailed First Aid information in a relatable and relaxed way, Scott’s courses have become popular with Agricultural Property Managers, overseers and ringers alike. The highly practical course content ensures relevance to actual situations that are possible to encounter on a working property.

Scott continues to work with Ambulance Victoria alongside his First Aid training. 

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