Do you want to help shape the future of men and boys' health in Australia? The Federal Government has published a consultation draft of its proposed Men's Health Strategy for 2020-2030
If you want to have you say, you have until Monday 5th November 2018 to make your views known. As many people can find Government documents difficult to navigate and respond to, we've tried to make the process as simple as possible for you by highlighting the key points from the strategy below along with some information on the questions that the consultation asks.
If you want to make your voice heard then the links at the bottom of this page will point you in the right direction.
WHAT'S IN THE NATIONAL MEN'S HEALTH STRATEGY?
The new National Men's Health Strategy covers the following 10 areas:
- 3 big goals
- 5 top health issues
- 9 at-risk groups
- 4 stages of manhood
- 5 essential rules
- 3 areas of funding
- 5 things that funded projects must do
- 4 tips to make it male-friendly
- 9 key actions to improve men's health
- 5 checks and balances to keep the strategy on track
WHAT DOES THE CONSULTATION ASK?
In addition to asking for you to provide details of who you are, the consultation document asks the following 12 questions:
- How easy is it to follow the structure of the strategy
- Does the opening section work?
- Is the main aim of the strategy right?
- Will the 3 big goals help achieve the main aim of the strategy?
- Do you support the 9 key actions?
- Which actions are you most please with?
- What do you think is missing from the strategy?
- Will the 5 check and balances work to keep the strategy on track?
- Is there anything in the Strategy that should be changed?
- Is there any missing evidence that should be included?
- What rating do you give the strategy?
- Do you have any other comments you want to make?
REMEMBER: you don't have to answer every question and if there's just one issue you want to flag up, it's okay to find the appropriate (e.g. "any other comments") and use that section to make your voice heard. Before you have your say, make sure you take a look at the bullet points below to get a good idea of what's been included in the National Men's Health Strategy.
10 THINGS YOU'LL FIND IN THE NATIONAL MEN'S HEALTH STRATEGY
1. The 3 Big Goals of the Men's Health Strategy are:
- To empower and support men and boys to be healthy
- To improve health services for men and boys
- To increase research into men’s health research
These 3 Big Goals are designed to achieve the main aim of the strategy which is: "to achieve equitable and sustained improvement in the health and wellbeing of men and boys living in Australia".
2. The Top 5 Men's Health Issues identified in the Strategy are:
- Mental Health
- Chronic Disease
- Sexual and Reproductive Health Issues
- Injuries and Risk-Taking
- Healthy Ageing
3. The 9 At-Risk Groups that the Men's Health Strategy makes a priority are:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and boys
- Socio-economically disadvantage men and boys
- Rural and remote men and boys
- Men and boys living with disabilities (including mental illness)
- Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) men and boys
- Males who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex
- Socially isolated men and boys
- Men who are veterans
- Men and boys in the criminal justice system
4. The 4 Stages of Manhood the Men's Health Strategy focuses on are:
- Older Age
(The strategy also mentions key transitions in men and boys' lives but doesn't list what those transitions are).
5. The 5 Essential Rules that guide the Men's Health Strategy are:
- Taking a male-friendly approach
- Being transparent and accountable
- Building on best practice
- Applying an equity approach
- Focusing on health prevention
6. The 3 Areas of Funding for Men's Health the Strategy focuses on are:
- Funding health promotion work that increase men and boys' health knowledge and reduces risk
- Funding work to understand and reduce the barriers men face to accessing health services
- Funding to increasing the engagement of men and boys in health checks and screening
7. The Men's Health Strategy says there are 5 Things Funded Projects Must Do
As well as making sure they are male-friendly (see the "4 Tips" for making services work for men), services and programs funded through the Men's Health Strategy should:
- Address priority populations, conditions and risk factors
- Be inclusive, holistic and gender-sensitive
- Focus on key stages of men's life and and important life transitions
- Make sure different partners are working together effectively
- Draw on existing Government policies and strategies in other areas
8. The Strategy has 4 Tips for Making Health Services Work For Men
The design, delivery, promotion and ongoing improvement of health services and programs should remain male-centred by:
- Actively considering the needs and preferences of men
- Taking action to make services and programs more accessible to men
- Ensuring the voices of a diversity of men are heard and represented
- Prioritising groups of men at most risk
9. The 9 Key Actions to Improve Men's Health that are prose in the Men's Health Strategy are:
|Key Actions||Proposed Activity|
|1||Recognise and value the diversity of men and boys living in Australia||National awareness campaign highlighting men and boys in all their diversity and promoting positive, health, strengths-base role model and self-determination|
|2||Reduce stigma associated with the health system or ill-health||As above with focus on reducing stigma associated with racism, ostracism, mental ill-health, help seeking, gender identity, sexuality, culture, language, disability, infertility, ageing and men’s role choices.|
|3||Increase health literacy, including understanding of risk and opportunities for importing health||Pilot local demonstration projects that aim to improve health literacy, reduce risk and improve health and wellbeing within priority at-risk groups.|
|4||Address structural and systemic barriers to good health||Explore cross-government and cross-sector partnerships to improve the health of men and boys.|
|5||Provide opportunities for health professionals to increase their understanding of men’s health issues and improve their practice||Introduce specialisation in men’s health in general practice; advocate for men’s health education in medical, nursing and allied health university courses; develop online on best practice approaches to men’s health.|
|6||Engage with men and boys to identify and reduce barriers to health system access||Review existing research on the barriers men face; develop a plan to engage men with a focus on priority at-risk groups; ensure demonstration projects test approaches to addressing the barriers men face.|
|7||Proactively engage men and boys in prevention and early detection activities||Ensure local demonstration projects use population health approaches to engage with men and boys in health education, prevention and early detection initiatives.|
|8||Increase and prioritise research investment that will inform meaningful improvements in the health of men and boys living in Australia||Undertake a review of existing men's health evidence and develop a National Men’s Health Research Strategy drawing on views of key opinion leaders with aim of reducing health inequities and improving men’s health|
|9||Improve data availability to inform our understanding of men's health and track our progress||Publish regular statistical bulletins on men’s health from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and create a framework that ensure that progress made through the Men's Health Strategy is rigorously evaluated.|
10. The 5 Checks and Balances that aim to keep the Men's Health Strategy on track are:
- Setting up a governance structure that includes experts to oversee the Men's Health Strategy
- Developing a consumer engagement plan that ensures men and boys from the 9 at-risk groups are involved
- Allocating a substantial long-term budget to support the strategy
- Creating a framework to evaluate whether the strategy is on track
- Publishing progress reports at key intervals including a mid-point review in 2025
NOW HAVE YOUR SAY.....
- Take part in the Government consultation online
- Download the draft National Men's Health Strategy
- Download the Men's Health Strategy consultation document
- See a summary of outcomes form National Men's Health Forum (August 2018)
- Read the evidence review on the current state of male health in Australia