The 10th National Men’s Health Conference
The National Male Health Policy, released in 2010 by the Australian Government, talks about the importance of the ‘social determinants of men’s health’ and this draws attention to the well- documented fact that there are a range of social and environmental factors that need to be addressed to influence the overall patterns of wellness and illness for men and boys.
The health of men is often poor because of where they live, the work they do, their financial situation, their different emotional coping skills and cultural barriers and lifestyle issues.
Men’s health needs to be addressed at a systemic level, by building an understanding of the difficulties men experience in accessing and utilising health care services. We also need to work with men in a more holistic manner that addresses all the social needs that affect the wellbeing of men and boys. This Conference will focus on how we can broaden our work with men and develop more holistic pathways to improve male health.
Themes for the Conference include;
Building Male Friendly Preventive Health Strategies
How do we encourage employers to deliver health checks and programs for males, fund health promotion materials and encourage the government, community and corporate sectors to implement health promotion activities to have a specific focus on males. How do we supportive pathways for men within the health, welfare, legal and education systems?
How do we develop and maintain health programs and resources that improve the health & wellbeing of males particularly those with the poorest health outcomes? How can we develop and implement policy priority to males who experience the highest health disadvantage, and promote health messages in ways that males can relate to. How can research assist in this process?
Male Stages of Life
How do we improve health and wellbeing for males at different life stages, giving a focus on transition points in male lives (for example. leaving school, relationship building or breakdown, middle age, old age). Are we doing enough for boys and young men in supporting their “rites of passage” to healthy well
Male identities and vulnerable groups
Not all male population groups have the same health outcomes. How do we improve the health and wellbeing of males in rural and regional locations, those with disabilities, males with mental health issues, servicemen or veterans, and males who are socially isolated or economically disadvantaged, males in prison and leaving prison, single males, males from non English speaking backgrounds, gay, bisexual or transgender males, and intersex people.
Creating well trained and male friendly workers in the field
How do we create an effective male friendly workforce amongst the health, welfare, community health, allied health, human services and education sectors? How can we provide more men’s health and wellbeing training opportunities and who should be providing this training? Examples of current men’s health training initiatives are welcome.
Building a stronger men’s health and wellbeing policy base
How do we build on the existing Federal Male Health Policy and some State Men’s Health Policies and encourage the development of male health policy in our State and Territories that do not current have a policy? Bring you policy ideas to our table.
Men and Cancer
1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85 ( 1 in 3 women). Men are at increased risk of many cancers that should affect men and women equally. There are biological and lifestyle factors that seem to make men specifically vulnerable to developing cancer. Many cancers are caused by a combination of ageing, genetics and other uncontrollable factors. But men can make simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, moderating alcohol intake, improving diet, getting regular exercise, being sunsmart and making sure you have regular check-ups with your GP. If you do have a cancer experience you want to be as healthy as you can be.
You can also educate yourself by becoming aware of the symptoms of the various forms of cancer and acting fast. Something that is always worth remembering is, the earlier you detect cancer, the better your chances of fighting it and beating it. We welcome abstracts from all workers in the cancer area, doctors, researchers, health promotion workers and cancer support workers.
Chair of the Conference: Mr Greg Millan (President Men’s Health Forum NSW)
The Men and Vulnerable Families Forum (previously the Men & Family Relationships Forum)
To build strength and reduce risk in vulnerable families, men need to be included as part of the solution and not just treated as the problem. Unless men are engaged in these communities, programs either intentionally or unintentionally, primarily focus and place more pressure on the mothers as the only way to achieve improved outcomes for children.
All staff in community services/health, children’s services and relationship counselling programs have an important role in supporting father-child relationships. It is vital that, when they are recruiting new staff, agencies identify which applicants are going to have the potential to work effectively with men.
The Men and Vulnerable Families Forum shares and learns together about how community service programs engage men’s potential for building resilience in fragile families. The Forum also explores the knowledge, skills and behaviour that workers use to engage effectively with men and the outcomes it achieves.
Themes for the 2013 Forum are:
- Building the evidence base for engaging fathers.
- Effective approaches to engaging men in vulnerable communities.
- Outcome benefits for engaging men in family based programs.
- Engaging dads in school communities.
- Opportunities for shared parenting with changing work arrangements within families.
- Partnership opportunities when implementing whole-of-family approaches.
- Training, recruitment and induction of professionals in the sector to work with men.
- Team Parenting approaches.
Chair of the Forum: Mr. Andrew King
The 7th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Male Health Convention
The convention will provide an opportunity to explore of the status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island male health and how to work towards addressing these health issues.
In particular, it will allow delegates to examine the process of closing the gap in the life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males and therefore develop structures and strategies to influences policy makers to provide the necessary resources to improve their health and wellbeing.
Themes for the 2013 Convention are:
Aboriginal Male Health (Physical wellness, chronic disease programs, Social determinants)
What do we require to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to overcome the determinants of health that are affecting their wellbeing?
Aboriginal Culture (Spiritual and cultural wellbeing – Healing)
How do we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to take up their positions as leaders and embrace their cultural and spiritual wellbeing?
Workforce issue (Aboriginal male health workforce training and development)
How do we assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males overcome their disadvantage and to gain the confidence to improve their level of education and become an essential players in the workforce.
Male Places / Men’s Sheds
How do we inform government of the specific needs of Male Places and what it stands for within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities?
Service delivery (Male Health services)
How do we encourage the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to access available health services? How do we advise Health services to improve their delivery services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males?
Social and Emotional (Mental health, suicide, depression)
What approaches should we adopt to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to improve their physical, social, emotional and cultural wellbeing?
Family relationships (Being a father/leader)
How do we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males to take up their positions as leaders, teachers and caring for their families?
Chair of the Convention: Dr. Mick Adams (Vice-President, AMHF)