October 4, 2017
by Kaitlyn Estens
The Men’s Health Rural Education Van, affectionately named MHERV, visited Coonabarabran on 2-3 October, on its 56-stop tour across the state.
The purpose-built caravan is being used to promote men’s health and deliver free health checks to rural men who are notorious for not making time to see their local GP.
The project is supported by Rotary clubs in each town MHERV visits, with financial assistance from the Royal Freemasons’ Benevolent Institution.
Registered nurse, Nicole Page, from Newcastle, has been employed for the unique initiative.
Mrs Page said she had been on the road for six weeks and had already covered a vast area of NSW.
“I’ve been to Warialda, Narrabri and Moree and I’m heading out to Coonamble next, before I start moving south towards Griffith and then back home by early December,” Mrs Page said.
“I’m fortunate that I am in a position in my career, where my boys are older, that I can travel for work - it’s been a huge road trip!”
Parked in front of Tastebuds in Coonabarabran, Mrs Page assessed close to 30 men during her two-day visit.
However, she said Monday’s public holiday and wet weather did have an impact on numbers.
“We still got a good turnout and to be honest, if I make a difference to the life of just one bloke, then I’ve done my job and that makes me happy.”
As well as measuring height and weight to calculate a BMI (body mass index), waist measurement, cholesterol and blood pressure are checked to indicate the patient’s risk factor.
Mrs Page said mental health was also a significant topic of conversation with men she had met.
“There is definitely more awareness and openness about mental health, even with men,” she said.
“It wasn’t always like that - I’ve seen that change happen during my work life.
“So, start the conversation, and keep the dialogue around mental health open.”
Tony Muller took advantage of the Men’s Health Education Rural Van, which visited Coonabarabran on 2-3 October, managed by registered nurse, Nicole Page.
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