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Working with Warriors: An Innovative Approach to Men’s Health and Mental Wellbeing

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative is a state-wide program empowering men and communities to take responsibility for their wellbeing and health.

This program’s primary role is community education on men’s holistic wellbeing.

This is delivered in three ways:

  1. Warrior Education Sessions;
  2. Fast Track Pit Stop;
  3. Advocacy.


The RMHI emphasis is on men’s holistic wellbeing and health, which means the whole person and understanding problems/issues in the context of life.  When we consider the individual we believe we are more than just physical and mental beings, the often neglected element is our “social/spiritual” wellbeing.  We promote the requirement that it is important to know and understand the story behind our identity and what it is that makes us an individual.

Modern Western Medicine is too often about:

  • Diagnosing ills;
  • Prescribing pills; and
  • Sending bills

The “human factor” can get lost in the medical mix. 

It has been said to me in the past that the definition of a good accountant is, “they get to know the people in the business”; this is no different to the functioning of a good doctor or specialist.  In the work we do this is obvious, especially in the case of both the diagnosis and marketing of mental health issues.

We talk about “situational distress”, which is the space between being well and being diagnosed with a mental illness.  Quite often we fail to realize that most mental illnesses start from situations that are unresolved in our lives.  Sometimes we have to allow people, in particular blokes, to be in this space which is about people having a “normal reaction to an abnormal event”.

Often men know the issues but we don’t want to show ourselves as the “only one” with a problem. Men in particular struggle because we think we are failing, rather than realizing we are battling issues beyond our making and/or control.  A lot of the time it is about giving blokes permission and pointing blokes in the right direction to seek the best medical advice the can.

Blokes are warriors and that winning and macho attitude is very prevalent which often inhibits help seeking behaviour and can contribute to delays in men getting to the doctors. In regional areas the distance factor and lack of services also plays a role.

Our slogan “…before it all gets too much…Talk to a Mate!!” is the basis of all our initiatives. Mateship, empathy and appropriate use of humour is the key to connectedness in our programs and presentations.  We don’t do health assessment but we do health awareness, which is quite often the missing link.

For more information you can contact The Regional Men’s Health Initiative.

Owen and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.) 
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401
Phone: 08 9690 2277

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