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Men’s Health Forum in Ireland Minutes Management Committee Meeting

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Men’s Health Forum in Ireland Minutes

Management Committee Meeting

Parents’ Advice Centre, Belfast

17th November 2004
Present: Colin Fowler, Noel Richardson, Mary Sheehan, Alan George,

Se Franklin, Paula Carroll, Alan Houston, Dave Simpson,

Owen Metcalf, Deirdre McNamee.

Apologies: Barry McGale


  • Introductions & welcome new members

  • Minutes of previous meeting

  • Agree agenda & order of business

  • Report/update on National Ploughing Championships – next steps

  • Report/update on Stormont Meeting – outcomes & moving forward

  • National Conference Men’s Health, Wexford

  • EMHF working group

  • Consultation process National Men’s Policy ROI (links with NI?)

  • MHFI Work plan 2005 – 2008; terms of reference, funding, worker(s), projects to be undertaken, liaison with MHF & EMHF

Introductions & welcome new members.

  • All present introduced themselves and new members were welcomed.

  • Barry McGale and Eamonn Oakes sent their apologies.

Minutes of previous meeting discussed.
Agenda agreed as follows:

  • Report/update on National Ploughing Championships

  • Report/update on Stormont meeting

  • National Conference on Men’s Health in Wexford

  • Invitation to EMHF event 10th, 11th January – EMHF working group

  • Consultation process for Men’s Health Policy (ROI) (links with NI?)

  • MHFI Work plan 2005 – 2008, terms of reference, funding, workers, projects to be undertaken, liaison with MHF & EMHF

Report/update on National Ploughing Championships – next steps

Feedback from Alan was as follows:-

  • FHS met with Lily and informed them that 160,000 went through doors at Ploughing Championships.

  • 2,400 manuals distributed and key health message ‘Seek Help Early’ was successful.

  • Stands – Literature, free health checks and media driven event at ICA marquee with Jimmy McGee did create health gain for participants and awareness raising re: Men’s Health Forum.

  • Next step is to do a template with 7 to 8 bullet points for protocol for working with industry – each person is to feed back to Alan.

  • Need to look at signage/logos.

Report/update on Stormont meeting – outcomes & moving forward

  • 65 people attended meeting in Stormont. Some MNLAS were unable to attend due to review of Health Service Expenditure meeting.

  • Community projects were well represented.

  • Caoimhin O’Cuiv is trying to progress Dail Health Committee and a Dail meeting is proposed for late December or early January.

  • MLNAS – Men’s Health Forum Committee/working with Oireachtas Health Committee is feasible as the theme is of public concern. Men’s Health Forum may be seen as main facilitators and play a role in building relationships to support work. This work will need to be incremental. The notion is it’s on all island perspective on Men’s Health.

National Conference Men’s Health/Wexford

  • Noel outlined research reports, and gave an update on conference structure and intent. Mary S, Colin, Shay, Fergal and David are attending the conference.

EMHF Working Group

  • Eric from EMHF contacted MHF to request our attendance at scheduled meeting to look at ways of MHF working together in a more integrated manner. Shay agreed to consider attending meeting on 10th, 11th January in Brussels.

Consultation Process National Men’s Policy ROI

  • It will take place over a 5-day consultation. This process/information, which emerges, will be used to identify needs, which will be part of needs analysis for policy.

  • Both the Action Plan and Policy are being developed at the same time with preliminary actioning of recommendations being built in to work.

  • The Government Departments Steering Group representatives have been selected.

  • No commitment regarding resources/finance needed to progress policy beyond current work plan is in place yet.

  • Best practice models from Australia, Canada etc. are being examined as part of process.

Work Plan 2005 – 2008

Priority work areas were discussed as:

  • Meeting recommendation of MHF Men’s Health report is a priority.

  • Continue to get Men’s Health messages out in public arenas – road shows.

  • Influencing research by continuing advocacy role.

  • Look at training in terms of strategies to engage men, particularly in regard to men in consultation with service providers.

  • Produce generic booklet on all island basis.

Brainstorming resulted in following list of comments:

  • “Need to look at how we communicate with members, and gain support of those on database.”

  • “Need to strengthen how we give information to policymakers – question is – would a newsletter be useful.”

  • “Should we have an annual gathering (e.g.) AGM”?

  • “Awareness raising of men’s issues must remain key”.

Reflections on MHF history:

  • 1998 – N.I. group period

  • Early work of Dave Simpson and Ian Banks

  • Yamonouchi created opportunities with research funding

  • Eily Lily created opportunities for ongoing events

  • Events at Stormont

  • Launch of Report & Ploughing Championship’s events.

Next Phase

Questions posed were:

  1. What type of work do we take on to develop in a strategic manner and strengthen profession links?

  2. How should organisation itself work in terms of committee membership/structure?

  3. What is our action plan/core business?

  4. What do individuals feel passionate about for the next 3 days?

  5. Where does funding fit in?

Ideas presenter were:

    1. To do a workbook on how to work with men which is a practical book, using a bottom up approach targeted at men who experience poverty/poor health/social exclusion

    2. Men & Mental Health

    3. Men & Alcohol

    4. Men in Counselling

    5. Keep a tight focus for men’s week and do something tangible

(Were suggested as possible work themes)
After debate work areas to be planned for in 2005 are:
(A) Focus primarily on Men’s Health week which is 12th June ’05 by:

  • Publishing a booklet on general obesity (e.g.) 8 pages.

  • Distribute health information (e.g. booklet)

  • Do a road show event.

  • Do newsletter with focus on Men’s Health week.

(B) Try and source funding for worker to progress work. Funding letter drafted to be circulated and point of contact for replies will be Mary in Colin’s absence. Initial contract period for worker would be 6 months.

(C) Make more of IMHF report and commit to greater dissemination.
(D) Continue to work to progress All Ireland Advisory Group on Men’s Health on Island.
(E) Use database more effectively to bring added value to local work as information can thereby be distributed to local groups.
Next meeting schedule for 26th January ’05. All previous dates for December ’04 have been cancelled.

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