New resources released to help those who want to help men

Global Action on Men’s Health (GAMH) has launched a new two-fold resource aimed at helping policymakers and service providers improve the way men are targeted in policies and programs.

The first part of the resource is a 46-page guide called Delivering Men’s Health which outlines 10 steps that can be taken to achieve more effective engagement with men.

These are:

  1. Collect, analyse and publish data
  2. Engage senior decision-makers
  3. Listen to men’s voices
  4. Introduce health policies that address men’s needs
  5. Meet men ‘where they are’
  6. Recognise the differences between men
  7. Take account of gender norms
  8. Include boys and young men
  9. Use Men’s Health Week and other hooks
  10. Be positive about men and recognise their strengths

GAMH says policy-makers and service providers who want to take action on men’s health have lacked easily-accessible, user-friendly information about how to do so.

“Delivering Men’s Health is a resource that aims to fill this gap. It aims to translate the now significant body of robust academic and other evidence about how to deliver appropriate policies and services to men into a format that can inform both planning and delivery.”

Launched at a GAMH webinar on September 27, the resource is pitched at those who “want to take action but are not necessarily very knowledgeable about gender and health generally or men’s health specifically. It gathers and presents information from a multinational and mostly recent range of sources.”

The document covers interventions in policy development, health information provision, sports and community-based initiatives, self-management programs, and workplace, digital and primary care services. It includes case-studies that highlight examples of good practice and programs that address many of the key issues that impact on men’s health.

Also released in tandem with the guide is an online database of research and resources for policymakers and service providers, developed in partnership with Mengage and the Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre, Western Sydney University.

VISIT THE GLOBAL ACTION MEN’S HEALTH DATABASE

A sample of the documents available in this one repository are:

  • Australia National Men’s Health Strategy 2020
  • Australia National Male Health Policy 2010
  • Brazil Men’s Health Policy
  • Europe Men’s Health Strategy 2018
  • Ireland Men’s Health Policy 2008
  • Men’s Health Gap – WHO 2014
  • Men’s Health Policy Iran

Speaking at the September launch of the materials, GAMH Director Peter Baker acknowledged progress that had been made on some fronts in addressing men’s poor health outcomes, but said the issue had been historically neglected.

“Men have been largely absent from health policy from all levels,” he said.

In the past year in 29 countries, male life expectancy had decreased by one year with the COVID pandemic highlighting existing problems with male health including hypertension, diabetes, lung cancer and heart disease.

“We have seen in some areas men included in policy, but generally speaking men’s health remains absent from programs and policies at all levels.

“Delivering Men’s Health is a Guide for policymakers and service providers to help them develop work in this area.

“We want to see men’s health policies introduced at all levels.”

The webinar shared information about progress on men’s health policymaking around the world and outlined the case for further progress.

In Australia, Professor John MacDonald from Western Sydney University shared his personal view on Australia shifting to a more medical and disease-focused approach and away from the social determinants of men’s health in its more recent 2020 Men’s Health Strategy. “How you see the issue determines how you see the solution,” he commented.

“It remains to be seen if we move the focus to more social determinants of health and what can be done to the make the country a more health-promoting environment.”

Other speakers at the webinar were:

  • Regional policy: The European Men’s Health Strategy – Alan White, Emeritus Professor of Men’s Health, Leeds Beckett University
  • Local policy: The Quebec Men’s Health and Wellbeing Action Plan– Philippe Roy, Professor of Social Work, University of  Sherbrooke, Canada
  • Men’s health in other policies: Denmark’s policy on fathers’ mental health – Svend Aage Madsen, Director, Men’s Health Society Denmark
  • Current campaigns for men’s health policies: Germany – Doris Bardehle, Men’s Health Foundation Germany

Global Action on Men’s Health was established in 2013 and registered as a UK-based charity in May 2019. The  It brings together organisations with an interest in men’s health with a mission to “create a world where all men and boys have the opportunity to achieve the best possible health and wellbeing wherever they live and whatever their backgrounds.”

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