Since 2002 the Men’s Development Network through its Men’s Health Programme has been actively involved in promoting key health and well-being themes with and on behalf of men, through its range of community development work and training across Ireland. The MDN’s health work continues to highlight how well-being requires a shift in focus from what can go wrong in men’s lives, to focusing on what can go right. This well-being approach also reflects the concept of positive mental health, in which a man can realize his own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and be able to make a contribution to his community.

Engage Training

The Engage National Men’s Training Programme is a training and educational programme which was created via a partnership between the Institute of Technology Carlow, the Men’s Development Network, Waterford Institute of Technology, the Men’s Health Forum Ireland and the Health Service Executive’s Health Promotion Department to increase participants’ understanding of best practise in engaging men with health and social services. The Men’s Development Network co-ordinates and manages the training for this programme.

Engage Training Leaflet

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.

Engage Training Programme Outline

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 ‘Engage’ training programme aims to increase participants’ understanding of best practice in engaging men with health and social services. The training content is based upon the Partners’ experience, evidence from academic and evaluation literature, and an extensive 24 month pilot phase. 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.

Training Quotes from NMHP Health Inputs

  • The energy and positivity was intoxicating and it was very informative.
  • Yes, I think all of my staff should get this training as we work alongside young men every day and this training would be of great benefit.
  • Great day of reflection, idea sharing and learning for working with men.
  • I think it’s valuable and educational and reflective. All very important traits.
  • It’s a wonderful learning opportunity and provides an encouraging and motivating space.
  • The facilitators were excellent and opportunities for reflective practice is always beneficent to your work.
  • I think all front-line staff should attend this training – very helpful.
  • Really allows you the opportunity to reflect on your own practice and service and how you can improve.
  • Very enjoyable and interactive. Full of information.
  • I actually think everyone should do this training, men or women. Lets you take a step back and actually see the whole man – who they are, where they are coming from, etc.
  • It was an extremely well-facilitated, educational and respectful learning day
  • A very enjoyable training. A very important issue to target young males for.
  • A really enjoyable day and am very excited about developments we can now make.
  • Deeper look at influences on young men and what impacts their attitudes/behaviours.
  • Very enjoyable day with great trainers and group. Picked up lots of little tips of ways to engage with young men.
  • Super positive setting, lovely trainers, useful topics/discussions and tips. Thank you.
  • Very informative but it’s not just knowledge, it pulls out existing skills and experiences.
  • Wide discussion with other caregivers and their experiences. An insight into young men’s lives and issues.
  • Essential training for all people having any involvement with young men – individually or in groups.
  • Very informative and engaging trainers. Lots of very relevant information.
  • Very important as I find some colleagues shy away from engaging with men as an easy option for them. This course will give them the confidence to try harder.

Further Programmes

Counselling

MEND

Development

Male Advice Line