Men's Health Training in Ireland

There is an increasing number of organisations that are keen to involve men in their programmes and to learn about the most effective means to do this.  Commonly, they seek to know why they should involve more men, how to go about it, and what they can offer to the men they have contact with.

‘Engage’ is a comprehensive one day training programme that is targeted at front line service providers.  It was developed to address the deficit in gender sensitive service provision for men, and 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 was 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 Men's Health Forum in Ireland (MHFI) was proud to support the production of resources for this training.

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.

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 2012, the first intake of eighteen Trainers completed the four day residential training programme, and they began delivering ‘Engage’ in March 2013.

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.