A primary health care approach to men's health and wellbeing: It's just better practice

Staff involved: Michael Bentley

The Just Better Practice document is a joint project between SACHRU and the South Australian Department of Human Services.

The implementation of the South Australian Primary Health Care Policy Statement will "focus on better health for the population and actively works to reduce health inequalities between different people." Men are a diverse population group and thus men's health and wellbeing needs to be located in this primary health care context, recognising the principles of equity, participation, cultural and gender accountability, comprehensiveness, and sustainability.

The project has developed a primary health care framework that recognises the complexity of men's health issues and needs, and the power inequalities between men and women and between different groups of men. Thus, the 'Just Better Practice' framework in underpinned by the principles of gender equity and social justice.

The project used case studies, which cover a diversity of men's health and wellbeing services and programs across the life course, to illustrate better practice principles in projects that have been developed to improve the health and wellbeing of men in South Australia, and to provide practical examples of how primary health care for men's health and wellbeing is applied within various service and community settings. These programs and services not only address physical health but also address the social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of population groups of men. They include work in the areas of Gay Men's Health, Men and Violence, Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Fatherhood, Engaging middle-aged men, Older Men, Indigenous Men, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Men.

The report was completed in June 2004 and submitted to the Department of Human Services.