Is your health service male friendly? Men’s Health Week 2024

International Men’s Health Week runs from 10-16 June and is an opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health, and to promote the health of men and boys.

Men’s Health Week in Australia is coordinated by the Centre for Male Health at Western Sydney University who has teamed up with Healthy Male in a Good Health Heroes campaign for 2024, with a range of resources to support men’s health.

International best practice tells us we can improve men’s access to healthcare by developing male-friendly services. But what is a male-friendly service?

No one-size-fits-all-approach will work for all men and boys. There are differences between groups of men, as well as differences within individual men themselves that need to be considered.

The Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) has developed a 10-step guide to developing male-friendly health services

The Australian Men’s Health Forum 10-step guide to male-friendly health services

In the 10-step guide, the AMHF identifies some of the key characteristics that are common to health initiatives that work for men, both in Australia and overseas.

These include: targeting men directly, meeting men where they are, using male-friendly language and activities, identifying men’s strengths, and helping men help themselves.

“Being friendly, having an open door and being honest about how you can help will engage men to health services,” says Victorian men’s health nurse practitioner Peter Strange.

Australia’s men’s health sector is a world leader in developing innovative, male-friendly approaches to engaging men in health services. The Men’s Health Clinic at Bendigo Community Health Services is one such service having been nationally recognised for its model of care in men’s health.

The male-friendly men’s health clinic includes a welcoming place to engage men with a waiting room with footy jumpers on the wall, posters of gay men, and model boats.

“Men will engage with health services if they are supportive, male-friendly, offer a practical approach and provide education”, says Mr Strange. “The other thing is to ask men questions directly and provide the time.”

The 10-step guide printable resource is available in a poster format.

Centre for Male Health at Western Sydney University and Healthy Male campaign

Good Health Heroes campaign

The Good Health Heroes campaign focuses on six key foundations of good health in men: nutrition, exercise, connection, reducing risk-taking, health literacy and sleep – and offers self-manageable and achievable habits to improve outcomes. A range of resources are available, including health practitioner education activities. Visit the Good Health Heroes website for more information

Health practitioner webinar

A free health practitioner CPD webinar, Targeting disease burden and risk factors for promotion of men’s health, will run live on Wednesday 12 June 7:30pm AEST, with a podcast version available now.

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