Journal Article
03 Dec 2019
16 views

Evaluating a Tool to Support the Integration of Gender in Programs to Promote Men’s Health

American Journal of Men’s Health Laura L. Struik, Aneta Abramowicz, B...+4 more
American Journal of Men’s Health
Laura L. Struik, Aneta Abramowicz, Barbara Riley, John L. Oliffe, Joan L. Bottorff, and Lisa D. Stockton
European Region
20 mins
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What you'll learn
‘Check-Mate’ - a tool designed to assist the creation of gender-sensitive mental health programs for men
  • This article evaluates ‘Check-Mate’ – a tool designed to assist the creation of gender-sensitive mental health programs for men
  • The tool includes five key approaches with actions listed for each approach and is designed to be helpful at every programming stag
  • ‘Check-Mate was found to be useful, practical, and applicable to multiple settings’
  • More research is needed to build the evidence base
What is Check-Mate?
A tool for effective gender integration
The tool was developed when Movember Foundation, an NGO supporting men’s health initiative, launched a Social Innovators Challenge (SIC). Participants proposed projects to support male mental health, which prior literature suggests is drastically under-supported. The tool includes five key approaches with actions listed for each approach and is designed to be helpful at every programming stage, with researchers encouraged to provide further recommendations to improve the tool where relevant.
Potential for positive outcomes
According to qualitative data collected by 10 SIC participants, Check-Mate was found to be useful, practical, and applicable to multiple settings. This article proposes further research and action to ensure the tool does not reinforce masculine ideals, is able to demonstrate concrete examples of implementation, and explicitly acknowledges the complexity of men’s mental health. Overall, Check-Mate shows great potential to benefit male mental health programs to ensure they are gender-sensitive.
The five key approaches
The tool includes five key approaches with actions listed for each approach. The approaches include:
1. Creating a male-friendly space
2. Basing the program on activities that are appealing to men
3. Using masculine ideals to increase the well-being of men and their families
4. Considering aspects of men’s identities other than gender
5. Encouraging independence and participation”
Two men lean against a wall, one on a bike, in Italy, wearing face masks.

Since no one size fits all for male-friendly programming, the approaches in the tool enable creative freedom in putting them into action.

Key Takeaways
1
Men's health programming is nuanced and complex
Men's health programming is nuanced and complex
Thus it must be acknowledged that the tool's approaches are flexible and adaptable to a range of settings and contexts. The tool provides a set of guiding principles, not a prescriptive list.
2
Potential to use in varied settings
Potential to use in varied settings
The tool was used effectively in a variety of project settings, with diverse groups of males, across Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, proving it may be transferable to other male mental health promotion initiatives, and potentially to men’s health promotion programming more broadly.
3
Language must not reinforce masculine ideals
Language must not reinforce masculine ideals
Gender transformative approaches to programming aim to promote healthy masculinities, challenge hegemonic masculinities, promote gender equality, and highlight intersections of masculinity with other aspects of social identity. While using masculine ideals to increase the well-being of men and their families is one of the tool's approaches, it's important to note transformative language should be more carefully reflected in the tool’s approaches to ensure it does not inadvertently reinforce hegemonic masculine ideals
4
Further evidence is needed
Further evidence is needed
Further research is needed to build the evidence base for the effectiveness of this tool. In particular, validating the tool in alternative health promotion programming contexts is needed. What's more, further research should be undertaken that explores the relationship between the approaches listed in the tool and program outcomes.
Two men lean against a wall, one on a bike, in Italy, wearing face masks.

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    Affiliations
    1. Laura L. Struik, Joan L. Bottorff- School of Nursing, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada
    2. Aneta Abramowicz, Barbara Riley, Lisa D. Stockton- Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
    3. John L. Oliffe- School of Nursing, UBC Vancouver, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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