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Supporting and Promoting Male Health and Wellbeing CDHN Networking event March 5 th 2009 The Old Library Trust Creggan Health Living Centre Michael Lynch.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting and Promoting Male Health and Wellbeing CDHN Networking event March 5 th 2009 The Old Library Trust Creggan Health Living Centre Michael Lynch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting and Promoting Male Health and Wellbeing CDHN Networking event March 5 th 2009 The Old Library Trust Creggan Health Living Centre Michael Lynch Men's Health Issues

2 The work of M.A.N A Brief History/overview Support /Outreach Networking /Advocacy Creating male specific services Challenge/lobby others to do same Men's Health Week ~~Fathers Day

3 What are Men's Health/Issues Holistic Anything that effects Men's Health and Wellbeing and has a unhealthy bearing on their thinking,emotions, behaviour. Men die on average 5 years younger than women Men complete suicide 4 to 5 times more often that women Lifestyle/wellbeing ~~ choices and consequences

4 What are the issues that impact on Men's Health? Any factor within personal,family,work,social or societal life that has an impact on wellbeing. A holistic model of health The Men's Sector Assessing/highlighting the needs/inequalities, Issues Lobbying Government

5 What are some of the issues Research and data Men as victims of domestic abuse. Male health needs and health-seeking behaviour. Male underachievement in formal education. The important role of fathers in their children's lives and how fatherlessness impacts upon children. Homophobia and homophobic attacks. Men as both perpetrators and victims of violence. The needs of rural men.

6 Employment Enduring culture of the workplace Work-life balance for men Under-performance of boys at school impacts on and limits career choices. Workplace terms and conditions

7 Health and Well-being Male-specific issues/services Physical Health Sexual and Reproductive health Mental and Emotional health

8 Poverty Under performance at school can limit future career choices and, subsequently, income. Men in the lowest paid jobs (e.g. migrant workers) are most likely to suffer poverty and to be ineligible for state benefits. Males are the group most likely to be homeless. Separated fathers who leave the family home are very likely to not be able to afford suitable accommodation and to suffer financial hardship. Particularly vulnerable groups of men include: male lone parents, older men, rural men engaged in small-holding agriculture and disabled men.

9 Education and training Boys are increasingly under-performing at school Career advice for all school pupils is inadequate. Secondary education has placed much more emphasis upon academic qualifications The school curriculum does not (usually) cover important life skills for boys Demise of quality, structured, apprenticeships Shortage of male teachers Men are missing from the programmes of most adult education providers

10 Decision-making There is a need for male champions of gender-sensitive decision-making. While many of the key decision-makers in Northern Ireland are male, there are few working class men in these positions. The key protagonists are, therefore, not representative of males generally. There are very few examples of young men being involved in decision-making processes.

11 Violence and crime Most prisoners are male Domestic abuse is a major concern for our society Young men, moving from the Juvenile Justice System to adult institutions, are very vulnerable and at risk of learning new criminal behaviours False allegations against non-resident fathers Men are the group most likely to be both the perpetrators and the victims of a violent attack There are few programmes available for males who recognise their potentially out-of-control behaviour and who wish to do something about it.

12 Boy child Boys toughened-up Rites of passage Education is often seen as "something for girls". Risk-taking behaviours Non-traditional roles / careers. Our society often makes a default cultural assumption that all males are heterosexual. Support to cope with life transitions

13 Caring Fathers often insignificant "bread winner" or disciplinarian. There is little practical support, skills training, advice or father-specific information Involving fathers at every stage of their children's lives Equality before the law in contested child access/residency cases. Shortage of male staff in family support services Lone fathers and CSA The value of male carers

14 Media There is a lot of stereotyping of men in the media. Men are mostly portrayed as violent, stupid, incapable, insensitive, strong, sex-obsessed, heterosexual, heroes or villains... The broader range of masculinities is rarely alluded to. There are few positive images of / messages about men portrayed in the media.

15 Peace and security Males who have lived through the Troubles have very limited opportunities to de-brief and make sense of what they have experienced. Lack of specific support programmes for ex- paramilitaries (mostly male) to encourage the re- channelling/re-focusing of their experience and skills in our post-conflict society. While men are often seen as the main players in the Troubles, little is known about their important positive contribution to the peace process. The Security Forces lack gender and diversity training.

16 Some Nuances of Men's Work Recognising many men still work from generational stereotypes until experiencing an alternative that works The need to value /validate men-and the work done with men The need to promote Strength of Choice messages/thinking To acknowledge each man is uniquely different The work is often slow and person centred Men are often looking for a Quick Fix

17 What are the Main Challenges for those wanting to engage with men TO LISTEN Cost effectiveness –recourse implications Learning how to engage with men Awareness of gender dimensions Mens work should COMPLEMENT not CONFLICT with Women's Work /Health or resources Applying Section 75 Gender Legislation

18 Finally

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