Developing male-friendly services
There is a need for physical and mental health services that are tailored specifically for men and will meet their unique needs. This is absent in the world today, and the effects of that are seen in its adverse impact on the wellbeing and health of men. Evidence has shown that the best way to make healthcare services more accessible for men is to develop more male-friendly services.
Of course, it must be noted that there is no perfect approach that will work for all groups of boys and men. Each group has unique features, which is what each service will consider when developing male-friendly services. As a world leader in developing innovative approaches, the Australian health sector is in the best position to establish male-friendly services initiatives. Instead of blaming males for not making use of health services, male-friendly approaches ignore the stereotypes that men do not care about their health and focus on changing the ways they offer help to men instead of asking men to change who they are.
Male friendly services achieve this by working with archetypal masculine norms, roles, interests, and practices. They also acknowledge and incorporate the evolving and diverse nature of masculinity, which affirms men’s positive strengths and allows other virtues to develop. There are ten steps to creating an effective male-friendly service, these are
To create a service that more men will access, it is vital to focus the services directly on men. Targeting men can be done through the marketing materials, where you advertise, and your service is structured.
This entails going to meet men where they are, i.e. where they frequently visit. This includes bars, sports clubs, workplaces, etc. it also helps to offer out-of-hours services which will be more accessible to men.
For men to listen to you, you have to speak a language they understand. You can do this with your service, starting with using a male-friendly name.
You have to be positive about men and focus on their strengths as well as the benefits of addressing peculiar health issues.
Men want to be useful. So make your services one that allows them to help in the process.
Help men to bond and create a support network.
Provide male-friendly information and guidance that allow men to help themselves independently
Use a by men for men approach with male volunteers and staff.
Create more interest by incorporating men’s interests into the health programs with an action-oriented and solution-focused approach
Harness men’s strengths, such as interests, identities, values, virtues, preference, etc.