Australia is one of the World’s healthiest societies, yet our men and boys die younger; experience more disease and have less access to support services than women and girls. So why do men of all backgrounds have less chance of living healthy lives?
The Australian Men’s Health Forum is launching an online conversation to get more people talking about the social factors that shape men’s health and we’d love you to get involved.
Over the coming months we’ll be publishing a series of articles, fact sheets and other thought-provoking content and inviting everyone who cares about men and boys’ health to read, watch, listen, share, debate, discuss and comment on the ideas and issues raised.
The resulting conversation will help us to produce a series of papers on the Social Factors That Shape Men’s Health and inform our work advising Government on its review of the 2010 National Male Health Policy.
To help us get this conversation started, we’ve created “a conceptual framework for taking action to improve men and boys’ health” which we have simply called our “Framework For A Healthier Future”.
When tackling a complex social issue, such as improving men’s health, a conceptual framework can help us to create a map of the many different factors that are at play.
Most people understand that having a detailed and accurate map can help us plan the best route to a chosen destination.
In a similar way, creating a conceptual framework around an issue like men’s health, helps us to understand the territory we are operating in and map out a range of pathways we could take to try and tackle the issue.
When it comes to health promotion, most conceptual frameworks identify different layers of influence that are known to shape our health. These include:
- Individual factors, e.g. smoking (the causes of poor health);
- Social factors, e.g. unemployment (the causes of the causes);
- Structural factors, e.g. economic policy (the causes of the causes of the causes);
- Social position (an individual’s standing in the social hierarchy).
Our Framework for a Healthier Future builds on the work of existing conceptual frameworks and introduces two additional features that are generally overlooked:
- It places a specific focus on the factors that are known to shape men and boys’ health;
- It acknowledges the fact that there are many different views about gender and gender differences that need to be accounted for when seeking to address gender health issues.
Position Paper: Framework For A Healthier Future
The framework is designed as a starting point for meaningful conversations about improving men and boys’ health. If you want to get involved by contributing an article on one or more aspects of our Framework for a Healthier Future, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together, we can get Australia talking about men and boys' health.