Men's Health Caucus: Town Hall Meeting
Updated: Jun 10
During my time in Los Angeles, I attended the town hall webinar convened by the Men's Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association. This internationally attended event attracted policy makers, researchers, advocates and health workers in the field of men's health. It was inspiring to see the groundswell of voices committed to ensuring that men lead longer and happier lives. The Men's Health Caucus was established by the Board of APHA to foster better understanding of how to define and meet the health and wellness needs of men and boys. Their 2022-2026 Policy Agenda is ambitious and there is much to be learnt for a similar coalition in the UK. They have made the following recommendations:
Dedicate staff, funding, and other necessary resources to federal, state and address the particular health and wellness needs of men and boys.
Advance and disseminate funded male health-specific research initiatives
Develop high-impact health education and outreach initiatives targeting men, boys and their families
Promote the development of better-trained and more gender-sensitive US public health workforce in the field of male health
Promote strategies that ensure greater access and delivery of health services to men, boys and their families
It was useful to hear an overview of their work as well as have an opportunity to connect to resources and network. A clear point of communication that emerged from the meeting was that social determinants contribute significantly to health inequality between genders. This suggests a need to advocate for greater awareness of gender specific health needs and how they might be expressed in the social domain. Another major theme of the Caucus seems to be about working upstream in policy development but it was helpful to hear support for all kinds of interventions and for researchers, practitioners, policy makers and clinicians to work from where they are, potentially reaching some low-hanging fruit. While clearly there is a need for empirical research into men's mental health, I was left returning to my interest in the field as a visual researcher and clinician. I was reminded of the relevance of making spaces where other audio-visual narratives might proliferate and where multiplicities of masculinity might be authored. In so doing, there is the potential for audio-visual artefacts to both function as research as well as cultural products.
Some useful resources gleaned from the Town Hall meeting include:
Division 51 of the American Psychological Association
Australian Government National Health Strategy 2020- 2030