1. Kalgoorlie Forum Informal conversation over light refreshments by lindayy


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									1. Kalgoorlie Forum
On 16th April 2009 a National Male Health Policy public forum was held in Kalgoorlie, WA
from 6pm to 8pm, preceded by an hour of informal discussion over light refreshments.
Attendance at the forum was by invitation and public advertisement. Some 12 people

Structure of the forum
   Informal conversation over light refreshments
   Formal welcome
   Acknowledgement of traditional ownership
   Brief introduction by the facilitator Peter Dunn
   A presentation from a representative of the Department of Health and Ageing on key
   issues in men’s health
   Participant discussions
   − Small group discussions
   − Group feedback
   Closing remarks

1, Priority Setting
Firstly, participants were given the pre-prepared list of ten items which might form part of a
National Male Health Policy. These ten items had been drawn from an extensive web search
of Departmental papers that were available for public access. Participants were asked to
agree on which three items are the most important to them, and which three the least. If a
table could not come to agreement, individuals were given the option of submitting an
alternative ranking.

Input 2, Additional Items
Participants were then asked to continue their small group discussions, focusing on
suggesting additional items they felt should be included in the policy. They were asked to
record this on provided sheets and submit it at the conclusion of the evening.

Group feedback
After approximately 40 minutes of small group discussion, the facilitator invited each table to
share their conclusions with the room. This led to an interesting and informative whole-
group discussion which allowed participants across the spectrum to get an alternative insight
into the issues at hand and express their own opinions.

During this discussion the responses to the priority setting were graphed and displayed,
giving immediate visual feedback on the priorities of the room. This had the effect of
stimulating further discussion and clarification, giving a richer understanding of the group’s
interpretations and intentions in their rankings.
Input 1: Priority setting
Some tables were able to reach consensus on the priority setting, while others submitted
multiple forms. The combined results are shown in Figure 10, below.

               Figure 10: Priority Setting Results, Kalgoorlie

    d 4
    e 3
    b 2

           a      b     c       d         e       f       g        h      i      j

                         Most Important       Least Important

Participants also took the opportunity to make some more specific comments about items A
and B.

   Indicates item was ranked ‘most important’ by commenter
   Indicates item was ranked ‘least important by commenter

Item                                                      Comments
A. Using language in the policy that men can                    Would be picked up in H if appropriately
   relate to                                                    addressed
B. Focusing on ease of access to health care for                Needs to address national / State
   men:                                                         D close tie but picked up in I if awareness
                                                                project all encompassing
C. Increasing the body of evidence/research
   about men’s health issues
D. Considering the assistance men from
   culturally and linguistically diverse
   backgrounds might require to improve their
E. Considering specific training for health
   practitioners caring for Aboriginal and Torres
   Strait Islander men
F. Examining different options for men in rural
   and remote areas and men in metropolitan
Item                                              Comments
G. Improving gender balance in the focus of
   health care provision (“male friendly GP
   clinics, men’s magazines, images of
H. Working to increase the awareness of men’s
   health issues in the community
I. Encouraging the provision of training to
   health practitioners in how to address men’s
   health needs
J. Promoting and adapting local men's health
   projects that are currently working
Input 2: What’s missing?
The following additional items were suggested. These comments were taken verbatim.
  Examining different option for men under stress from family or relationship breakdown.
  Providing real solutions for fatherhood e.g. separation and fatherhood
  Conduct research on health symptoms from separation and family breakdown
  Risk to men 25 – 64:
    − Heart attack
    − Smoking
    − Exercise
    − Suicide
    − Accidents
  Raise tobacco tax
  Address sport in schools, exercise in work environment, smoking
  Open up medical schools to many more students – make communication as essential paper
  Reinforce discipline (including physical). This leads to self discipline which can lead to
  fitness, diet, behaviour changes, more self control in aggression, driving
  Historical health aspects that worked need to be investigated and implemented where
  Address 5 major causes causing / contributing to death amongst separate male cohorts
  Items on yellow page too prescriptive in some cases – need to be broader
  Lobbying / bludgeon AMA to contribute / encourage universities to increase medical
  student intake
  Sense of belonging, healing, self awareness – i.e. indigenous expands “Men in Sheds”
  Screening services
  Use networks – publicise – formal curriculum in personal and community health
  Compulsory health checks for all employees on a yearly basis – can be done in the
  workplace, makes the ‘health’ issue a more ‘normal’ point of discussion. This of course
  will cover both male and female employees, however I think the men will benefit more as
  they, at the moment, are not so inclined to have regular check ups
  Making health / fitness club membership tax deductible for employers to encourage more
  Funding for Men’s Health Officer to facilitate / promote / coordinate / disseminate
  information / programs
  Access = timely and affordable especially in rural and remote areas! E.g. doctors in remote
  areas charging $100 consult. Men who have just worked a 12 hr shift don’t want to visit a
  dr if it takes ages / costs a lot / is not a convenient time especially if only a minor ailment.
  Look at towns like Karratha, WA. Charge $100 a consult.
  Corporate incentives for all-sizes of businesses to promote health club membership – at
  present it is a fringe benefits tax
  Adverts that appeal to men – compare with beer ads! Re health and vegies etc
  Make men act on awareness
  Promoting fundamentals of fathering and role models by men – ‘family unit’
  Awareness take action
  Screening workforce or not employed
  Pressure BSL
  Education boys and men:
    − Schools – male teachers in schools
    − Family – family outings at home
 − Housing
Delegation of funds (long term)
Male attitudes about their own health
Holistic mental health issues / housing / chronic disease
Aboriginal communities
Divorce cases – Problem for men (counselling) depression
 − Stress
 − Suicide
 − Alcohol
 − Drugs
Preventative task force. Reform Committees.
Aboriginal men’s policy and non-aboriginal men’s policy
No mention of factors that impact on health (factors – outside ‘health’) i.e. education –
social / emotional / historical / cultural / environment
Allocation of funds – for men’s health. Need to be flexible when funding. Be able to
respond to opportunities. Need long term funding
Links to other policies being developed. Links to other task forces currently underway
e.g. chronic / lifestyle / workforce
The need for policies at the highest level to support the health promotion / education being
delivered at grass roots level e.g. smoking / alcohol
Need to tackle bodies that influence poor health outcomes for men e.g. alcohol industry,
fast food outlets, sponsorship, advertising, etc
More places in universities for training doctors
A national exercise program
Anti fast food advertising, prime time?
T. U. Program – Fast health food! (Inexpensive)
Screening between 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Stress resulting from divorce and the imbalance of asset distribution and custody of
Discussion notes
During the whole-group discussion the Hay Group facilitator and Departmental
representatives took notes of the key themes raised by participants, as outlined below.
  An issue is that men can be aware of health issues but don’t end up making changes to
  The Government is not serious because it won’t ban smoking because of the taxes that are
  paid. The taxes don’t pay for health costs.
  Need to break some of the male attitudes. If you can connect emotionally to what’s
  happening, then you do something.

Holistic / wellness approach
  Yellow sheet too prescriptive, doesn’t reflect a holistic view and socioeconomic factors
  need to be addressed, not a disease focus. Eg community stores impact on diabetes, and
  overcrowded housing in Indigenous communities.
  Nothing about legislation that supports healthy living eg taxes. Need to have the ‘big
  guns’ at all levels.

Local priorities
  Question around the priorities across different forums and whether they will be presented
  differently. There could be local issues.
  Important to pick up on Adrian’s point that access issue in Kalgoorlie could be different to
  Need a national curriculum in relationships from primary to high school for males and
  females because of the breakdown in nuclear families and the roles families played.
  Need to get more male teachers and role models in education.
  Need a curriculum over 30 years to make a difference.
Family and community
  Families don’t have meals together at night. This should happen more with advertising
  campaigns saying men shouldn’t take kids to fast food.
  Fathers as role model – often children are aware of what they should eat, but parents are
  packing lunches, and they see Dad not eating vegetables.
  70% of marriages end up in divorce. Men have a particular problem in handling distress
  from marriage breakdown. The symptoms are alcohol, drugs. More research is needed
  and giving men options in coping with this. Stress in providing fatherhood during the
  Issue of imbalance in separation and men needing to financially support the family even
  when they have a new family or circumstances change.
  Funding needs to be long term and how it is allocated – needs to be flexible and
  sometimes the framework used is ridiculous.
Frameworks change too soon with no time to implement. Need to commit to long term
goals and objectives.
COAG provides a mechanism for long term funding over 10-20 years that’s not dependent on
election cycles.

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