Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men's Health Plan 2015-2020

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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) men suffer significant health disparities compared to non-indigenous men. Health services can improve accessibility by implementing culturally appropriate services that consider the needs of indigenous men.

This resource contains lots of useful information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men's health and common health issues. It has been developed to assist the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) staff working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to provide health care that identifies the gaps, addresses the needs of the aboriginal community and is culturally appropriate.

 Although this booklet has been compiled for the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) it can be useful for any health service seeking to improve engagement and accessibility for indigenous men. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men suffer significantly worse health outcomes and die on average 11 years earlier than non-indigenous men. Some of the common health issues suffered in higher rates by indigenous men compared to non-indigenous men are:

  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Prostate/Bowel/Lung & Testicular Cancer
  • Suicide
  • Diabetes

The Social Determinants of Health are the social and environmental conditions in which people are born, live, work and age. Some of the social determinants that can affect Aboriginal health negatively are:

  • Socioeconomic factors: low education, unemployment and low income.
  • Social and emotional wellbeing factors: discrimination, life stressors and psychological distress.
  • Housing and Transport factors including overcrowding, homelessness, transport.
  • Addiction

Some of the common issues impacting on the health of ATSI men include:

  • Chronic diseases and conditions
  • Mental health
  • Social and emotional wellbeing
  • Alcohol and drug issues

Key Steps to Improving Service Accessibility

  • Culturally appropriate health promotion and education campaigns addressing ATSI men's health issues.
  • Developing culturally appropriate services for ATSI men.
  • Increasing the number of male ATSI health staff.
  • Developing separate gendered strategies (men's health and women's health) to address men's health issues.
  • Educating non-ATSI peoples to have a better understanding of the health needs of ATSI men.
  • Early detection of ATSI men's chronic diseases, assisting and educating them about management of the disease.
  • Identifying priority health issues of ATSI men in NSLHD.
  • Setting up partnerships with ATSI men and organisations working with them.

Resources Available

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