My Health Record – coming to a Men’s Shed near you

Social isolation is a significant problem for many Australian men, which leads to social, psychological and health issues for them. The first step to breaking down these problems is to encourage men to talk about their personal concerns. But for many men raised to be ‘strong silent types’, this runs very much against the grain.

On the premise that “Men don’t talk face to face they talk shoulder to shoulder”, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was established in 2007 to provide safe, friendly and welcoming places for men to work on meaningful projects and to contribute to the wider community. These places take the form of sheds, much like the familiar backyard shed that has long been a staple of Australian culture.

The My Health Record can play an important role to encourage men to engage more with their health and the Australian Digital Health Agency is partnering with the AMSA to distribute My Health Record toolkits to members around Australia.

The benefits of the My Health Record can be profound, as some men have already discovered. Lionel “Tiger” Corrigan has a host of medical problems that have gradually accrued over a long career as a plant operator and miner. “I’ve moved around a bit, and I thought it was a good idea to have all my records and everything available,” he said.

Nick Morton, meanwhile, ruptured an artery wall after his team’s grand final win, from a combination of dehydration, over-exertion and adrenaline from having won the match. After four weeks in cardiac rehab, the My Health Record was a valuable ally in his recovery. “It helped me having a digital copy of everything, instead of having to go my GP or my cardiologist with a binder full of everything,” he said.

Gary Green, Community Engagement Manager at the AMSA said, “The Men's Shed movement aims to advance the well-being of Australian men and My Health Record is another step towards achieving this goal. We are pleased to be able to collaborate with the Agency to support the distribution of My Health Record to around 1,000 Men's Sheds and their members across Australia.”