The establishment of the Centre for Men's Health was the principal recommendation from a landmark report by de Silva-Tatley and Nicholson (2013):
‘Men’s health is being ignored in New Zealand. Improving the health of our men is crucial, not only for the individual, but also for their families, their communities and the prosperity of our nation as a whole.
Here, and across the world, a paradox exists: although men are physically stronger, they have a higher mortality at all ages than women. This paradox, often called ‘the gender gap’, is illustrated by life expectancies where, in New Zealand and most of the developed world, women are expected to live 4 years longer than men. This is often assumed to be due to biology, but there is little evidence or data to support this assumption. Understanding the reasons for this is necessary because if the cause is not solely biological, it may be possible to introduce steps to reduce that gap.’
Advocacy: Representing and promoting issues relating to men’s health, through engagement with relevant agencies and groups including: Government, Universities, District Health Boards and Primary Health Organisations, and through community engagement.
Knowledge Exchange: Synthesizing and raising awareness of current evidence to support men’s health; Sharing best national and international practice.
Centre Activities: Hosting an annual New Zealand Men’s Health colloquium; Developing and maintaining an active multiple-platform social media strategy, and sponsorship of dedicated Research Reviews for Men’s Health; Developing national educational campaigns; Promoting public and media awareness of men's health issues; Disseminating vital information on how men and their families can improve their health.
Research: Promoting and undertaking research into men’s health issues in New Zealand, which ultimately will include biomedical, epidemiological, and public health research as well as studies that investigate psychosocial aspects of men’s health. Where appropriate, research will be undertaken by cross disciplinary teams in areas such as IT, communication, psychology and education to determine the most effective ways of engaging men of differing ages, ethnicities and communities in the issues of their health.
Practice: Advocating for men’s health issues to be included in the training programmes for doctors, nurses and other health professionals; Promoting initiatives and interventions to improve men’s health within the public health system, as informed by international and NZ research.