E-mental health interventions for men: an urgent call for cohesive Australian policy and investment

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Abstract

Few men who experience a common mental disorder access any mental healthcare from a health professional. E-mental health (eMH; online) interventions may facilitate men’s access to mental healthcare and reduce inequities in access via assistance in a format that aligns with their preferences and needs. Recent reviews show that men who have used these programmes generally find them useful and satisfactory; however, data on their effectiveness and factors impacting effectiveness in men’s use are limited. Few eMH interventions have been designed specifically to suit men’s preferences and circumstances, and little is known about the eMH-related experiences and needs of men from vulnerable and marginalized backgrounds. Despite their potential, Australian men’s health, digital mental health, preventive health, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and social and emotional well-being policies—and men’s health policies from Malaysia, Ireland, and South Africa—make no specific mention to progressing the use or evaluation of eMH for men. We present a series of policy recommendations, aiming to improve men’s access to effective and acceptable mental health assistance via eMH and increase health professional confidence to recommend and support these programmes. These include (i) the need for specific, connected health policy actions and targeted funding; (ii) policy priorities for intervention development, dissemination and evaluation; and (iii) for the experiences of men, particularly those from marginalized and vulnerable backgrounds, to be centred in policy. eMH for men should be promoted alongside interventions to reduce systems and social-level determinants of men’s mental health inequities.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberdaae033
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Promotion International
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Men
  • e-mental health
  • Policy
  • Australia
  • mental health
  • men
  • policy

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