There is an ongoing, increasing and predominantly silent crisis in the health and well-being of men. Due to a lack of awareness, poor health education, and culturally induced behavior patterns in their work and personal lives, men's health and well-being are deteriorating steadily.
The men's health crisis is seen most dramatically in mortality figures. In 1920, the life expectancy of males and females was roughly the same. Since that time and, increasingly, in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the life expectancy for men has dropped in comparison with that of women, with women outliving men by more that 5 years. Over the last thirty years, the ratio of male mortality over female mortality has increased in every age category. Life expectancy and mortality tables are found here and here. Men's Health Network (MHN) was created to address the growing men's health crisis.
The goals of MHN are as follows:
1. To save men's lives by reducing the premature mortality of men and boys.
2. To increase the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives.
3. To significantly reduce the cycles of violence and addiction that afflict so many men.
4. Energize government involvement in men's health activities so that existing government health networks can be utilized to increase the health and well-being of men and boys.
5. Encourage women to expand on their traditional role as the family's health care leader and activist for enhancement of health care services.
The strategies employed by MHN include:
1. National educational campaigns to promote public and media awareness of men's health issues and to disseminate vital information on how to prevent disease, violence and addiction.
2. Comprehensive public and retail screening and awareness programs that serve to make men aware of their health care needs and the importance of tending to those needs.
3. Development a data collection system that allows MHN to act as a national clearinghouse for information about men's health issues.
4. Providing and maintaining an ongoing network of health care providers and services that deal with men's health issues, combined with providing a telephone and mail referral service enabling MHN effectively to guide men and boys to the physical and psychological help they need.
5. Working actively with health care providers and agencies to support better government programs on men's health issues and to spotlight the need for adequate funding of research and education on men's health needs.