A focus on health promotion and prevention through the development of the national men's health policy

James A. Smith, Chris Bollen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Issues addressed The Australian Government announced its intention to develop a national men's health policy in June 2008. A focus on prevention was identified as a foundation principle that would underpin the development of this policy. This brief report provides a descriptive account of the key discussion points relating to health promotion and prevention during a National Men's Health Roundtable held in Canberra in March 2009. Methods: Invitations to the Roundtable were extended to peak professional organisations and national health bodies with an interest in men's health. Presentations from the National Preventative Health Taskforce, the National Primary Health Care External Reference Group and National Men's Health Ambassadors were used to provoke discussion relating to men's health.Results: The most salient issues that were raised at the Roundtable and that were specific to health promotion and prevention contexts included the need to clearly define key terms that relate to health promotion and prevention (to support a joined-up and health-in-all-policies approach); acknowledge that gender intersects with other social determinants of health; recognise that men's engagement though health promotion and primary healthcare services can be improved by using settings-based approaches more widely; a greater focus on men's health literacy; a universal funding system to support men's health promotion; clarity about the roles and responsibilities that various health professionals play in improving the status of men's health; and the need to build health equity between and within specific populations of men through action on the social determinants of health. Conclusion: Recognising the place of health promotion and illness prevention in a national men's health policy will provide the necessary platform to build critical health literacy among men, promote equitable access to primary healthcare services and better support men's engagement within the health system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-101
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • Health policy
  • Health promotion
  • Men's health
  • Prevention


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