Ochre Day 2017

Paul Hayes

25/10/2017 12:00:00 AM

Today marks the beginning of the 2017 Ochre Day Conference (4–5 October) in Darwin, an Aboriginal men’s health initiative developed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO). This year’s events will provide a showcase of best practice health delivery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and facilitate discussions about how to develop a men’s health strategy on local, state and national levels.

News teaser

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men face a number of disproportionate health concerns. For example:

  • death rates for Aboriginal men aged 15–24 and 25–34 are almost three times those of Aboriginal women and non-Indigenous men
  • Aboriginal men are seven times more likely to be hospitalised for chronic kidney disease than non-Indigenous men
  • young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are four times more likely to die from suicide than non-Indigenous people.
Overall, the life expectancy for Aboriginal males is 69.1 years, compared to 79.7 years for non-Indigenous males.
It is important for healthcare providers to consider the fact that some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men find it difficult to talk about their health issues because it could be considered a sign of weakness or shame. This, combined with the unique challenges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face as a result of colonisation and intergenerational trauma, can lead to a lack of engagement with health services.
Preventive healthcare and early detection of chronic disease are thus crucially important to improving health outcomes. Developing trust takes time and reinforcing confidentiality and ensuring all health discussions are held in private can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to feel more confident opening up to their GP.
Resources for GPs:  

Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander men's-health


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