The Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health - A research partnership between the Freemasons Foundation and the University of Adelaide
Why a focussed agenda on men's health?
The burden of disease and injury are more pronounced in men than women, which has personal, economic and societal consequences. For example men have about five years less healthy life than women, are more likely to commit suicide, have more hospital admissions, and are more likely to have higher rates of absenteeism and retire from the workforce early due to chronic disease. Successive generational cohorts are developing chronic conditions earlier in the life course. A father’s health influences the health of offspring through sperm and in fatherhood, role modelling of health behaviours influences childhood health. The World Health Organisation and Australia's National Men's Health Strategy recognise that a "one approach" to improving health is sub-optimal because the susceptibility and response to disease differs between men and women due to inherent biological differences, social, cultural, economic, environmental and political determinants of health as well as attitudes towards health and health service use.
Our multidisciplinary men's health research network
The multidisciplinary research program offered through, and supported by, the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health focusses primarily on the common and interrelated chronic conditions that constitute the bulk of the disease burden in men and have the most significant effects on well-being and quality-of-life. Being interrelated, research efficiencies are achieved by having basic, applied and social scientists, data engineers and epidemiologists, clinicians, allied and public health practitioners, working together to share expertise and knowledge. Our reseach agenda is guided by input from and working in partnerships with our consumers and stakeholders. This forms the basis of our men's health research network. Our research programs also include a strong focus on social determinants, healthy male ageing, health literacy, screening and prevention and men's use of and provision of health services. Socioeconomically disadvantaged men and men in rural and remote locations are a particular focus for the Centre.
A focus on supporting young scientists and professionals
Through multidisciplinary recruitment, training, and mentoring, the Centre aims to develop young scientists and health professionals to optimise their career opportunities and outcomes. In doing so, it strives to develop a strong national men's health research workforce which is competitive for grant funding and which aligns closely with government and non-government organisations that share common goals in achieving better heath outcomes for men.
Achieving health through lifestyle change
The Centre promotes the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle and weight by regular physical activity, good sleep hygeine, a well balanced diet and strategies to manage stress and anxiety, to reduce the risk of, or better manage disease. The Centre has developed and validated GIRTH (Get Involved Reach Top Health), a 12-week healthy lifestyle program specifically designed for men and run by men which is available for communities or businesses.