Engage National Men’s Health Training is a comprehensive two-day training programme to assist a broad range of practitioners to effectively engage Men and Young men, to address the current deficit in gender sensitive service provision and mental health and well-being issues. It focuses on the engagement process (i.e. why and how to build relationships with men), rather than offering a new or revised mental health programme (i.e. what to offer them).  It met Recommendation 7.2 of the Republic of Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy as well as addressing the needs outlined in the current Healthy Ireland – Men Action Plan.

The development of this programme is a collaborative effort between the Institute of Technology Carlow, the Men’s Development Network, the Health Service Executive’s Health Promotion Department, and Waterford Institute of Technology.  The training content is based upon the Partners’ experience, evidence from academic and evaluation literature, and an extensive 24 month pilot phase.

The ‘Engage’ training programme aims to increase participants’ understanding of best practice in engaging men with health and social services.  Specifically, on completion of the training programme, participants will:

  1. Understand the broad determinants of men’s health, including how gender influences men’s approach to looking after their own health.
  2. Understand how to guide health consultations with men using brief intervention and motivational interviewing techniques.
  3. Understand how best practice guidelines in working with men should be used to engage men more effectively with health and social services.
  4. Be aware of how to set-up and support effective group work with men.
  5. Be aware of the barriers and prompts experienced by men when accessing health and social services.
  6. To assist a broad range of practitioners to effectively engage with young men on mental health and wellbeing issues.

 Given the limited resources available to the Partners to deliver this training at a national level, it was agreed to adopt a ‘Train the Trainers’ model to increase capacity.  Applicants for the National Men’s Health Trainers’ Programme were selected on the basis that:

  • They had a remit for training service providers.
  • They had facilitation experience.
  • They had experience and/or knowledge of men’s health.
  • The overall group had a national geographical spread.

It was believed that this group would form a team with the Partners and, together, they could make a significant impact upon service provision for men nationally.  In 2018, nineteen Trainers completed the four day residential training programme, and they began delivering ‘Engage’ across Ireland.

The delivery of ‘Engage’ and its accompanying resources has been comprehensively evaluated.  It is the aim of the Partners to continue to strive for the highest standards in the delivery of men’s health training to service providers so that ‘Engage’ may be confidently assigned a quality mark that is nationally recognised.

For further information on the ‘Engage’ training programme and how to access it, please email Michael Hennessy at: engage@mens-network.net 051 844260/1