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Tweddle partners with Sons of the West for men's health

Posted by Kerrie Gottliebsen | 18/02/15

Tweddle Child and Family Health Service is thrilled to join a team of esteemed health industry organisations to partner with the Sons of the West Men’s Health Program for men living in the Melton, Maribyrnong, Hobson’s Bay, Wyndham and Brimbank municipalities.

Today at the Whitten Oval launch, Minister for Health Jill Hennessy MP, Peter Gordon, Western Bulldogs President, Chairman of Beyond Blue, The Hon Jeff Kennett AC, Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local CEO Dr. Vanda Fortunato and Sons of the West ambassadors and partners gathered at the launch to share their goal and passion for the health of men across the west.

Minister Hennessy stated that encouraging men to change their behaviours when it comes to their physical and mental health can be a challenge, especially across the west in which men typically experience poor health outcomes, compared with the broader population.

Men are invited to participate in the health program by signing up at a various health expos to be held across Melbourne’s west in coming weeks. The health program is based on a best practice program run by the Liverpool Football Club in the UK promoting health and disease prevention in men over 18 years.

Tweddle health professionals will be talking to men about the importance of their roles as fathers.  Dads’ roles have changed dramatically over recent decades, as experienced by Tweddle’s work in the community for over 95 years. Tweddle’s father inclusive programs now extend across residential and day programs, programs for dads in prison, antenatal education, psychology services and in-home parenting support.

“The west is a growth corridor for babies with over 5,500 being born every year, that’s a lot of dads” said Tweddle CEO Ms Jacquie O‘Brien.  “We know that the transition to fatherhood is a time when dads can face a substantial increase in distress”. Recent research, undertaken by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, reports that the children of men with a mental illness are more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness themselves.  “Tweddle’s services help to strengthen the relationships between parents and their children, which mean better outcomes for children”.

Ms O’Brien acknowledged the importance of adding a dad’s voice to Sons of the West.  “Tweddle is in a unique position to identify dads experiencing distress, anger and fatigue, as well as identifying when support is needed for partners of mums experiencing a mental illness.”

For more information about joining Sons of the West, visit their website.

Minister Jill Hennessy MP and Tweddle CEO Ms Jacquie O'Brien

 Minister for Health Jill Hessessy MP and Tweddle CEO Jacquie O'Brien

Tweddle CEO Jacquie O'Brien, Sons of The West Program Manager Nathan Bibby and Tweddle General Manager Service Delivery and Innovation Belinda Horton.

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