Men s Health Policy Context: The Irish Experience

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1 Men s Health Policy Context: The Irish Experience Noel Richardson PhD Centre for Men s Health Institute of Technology, Carlow March 19 th 2013

2 Overview of Presentation Background and impetus for Irish Men s Health Policy development Methodological & philosophical approach Overview of policy framework for men s health Key lessons learned in transitioning from policy development to implementation

3 Factors that created a momentum around men s health in Ireland Research Regional and National Conferences Emergence of men s health at a voluntary/advocacy level Issue based men s health Local policy initiatives and men s health workers Men s turn Men in crisis

4 Mandate for policy development Quality and Fairness (National Health Strategy, 2001) Action 15: A policy for men s health and health promotion will be developed

5 Key Steps Background to men s health policy development National Health Strategy Men s Health 2002/04 - Research Report Getting Inside Men s Health Dec National Conference on Men s Health Dec Appointment of National Men s Health Steering Group Mar 2005 Jul 2007 National Consultation Process (4 Phases) Dec 2007 Finalise Action Plan and Sign Off by Steering Group January 2009 Launch National Men s Policy and Action Plan

6 Defining men s health policy A formal statement that defines men s health as a priority area, identifies targeted action at both a micro and macro level and provides a specific framework and plan for action. It describes the procedures of institutions in the statutory, community, voluntary and private sectors, to promote men s health, and defines the responsibilities and accountabilities of the involved partners (adapted from Bull et al 2004)

7 Consultation Process: Phase I Target Audience Health Service Providers Academia Sporting Bodies Workplace Representatives Local Authorities Government Depts Community & Voluntary Sector - Minority groups and representatives Sligo Athlone Dublin Limerick Waterford

8 Consultation Process; Phase II Isolated Single Rural Men Living Alone The Clergy The Prison Services The Police Force Working Blue Collar Men Working White Collar Men Young College Men

9 Consultation Process; Phase III Invited submission (n=94) Public call for submissions (National Press) Interactive Web - Submissions

10 Consultation Process, Phase IV Bilateral Meetings with key stakeholders Health Service Executive Department of Education and Science Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Department of Social and Family Affairs

11 Overall approach to policy development The policy: is firmly positioned within existing government policy (inter-sectoral/inter-departmental) places a firm focus on the gendered nature of key men s health issues (e.g. alcohol, obesity, mental health) adopts a social determinants perspective targets interventions at both an individual and a population level incorporates a community development approach focuses on prevention as well as cure adopts a strengths perspective seeks to support men to become more active agents and advocates for their own health

12 Layout of Policy Part I (Background & Context) Introduction Theoretical & philosophical principles underpinning the policy Methodologies used Key statistics on men s health

13 Layout of Policy Part II (Key Policy Areas) Governance & Research Marketing, Health Information and Health Promotion Training in Men s Health Gender Competent Health Services Primary Care, Cancer, Mental Health and Sexual Health Key settings Home, Schools & Colleges, Workplace & Social Spaces Strengthening Community Action to Support Men s Health

14 Part III Layout of Policy Detailed Action Plan

15 Challenges in transitioning from policy development to implementation and key lessons learned to date. The importance of consultation in policy development developing partnerships and encouraging inter-sectoral engagement The need for transparency in managing expectation and sign-posting policy decision-making The need for patience in policy development policy is an inherently political process!

16 Challenges in transitioning from policy development to implementation and key lessons learned to date. Translating cross-departmental and intersectoral recommendations into sustainable actions Governance and accountability are critically important Evaluation needs to begin as soon as the policy is published Profile successes and build momentum Resources

17 Challenges in transitioning from policy development to implementation and key lessons learned to date. The value of having a men s health policy document - identifies men s health as a priority area - creates a vision, identity and branding for men s health - provides a framework for action and roadmap for practitioners and ongoing [health] policy development - gives leverage to expanding men s health work

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