Building Momentum, Gaining Traction: Ireland's National Men's Health Policy- 5 years On

Noel Richardson (


Approaching the end of the 5-year timeframe of Ireland's national men's health policy (NMHP) represents a timely opportunity to reflect on the key successes and challenges associated with transitioning from policy development to implementation. The success of the NMHP can be attributed to strong governance and accountability measures, the exponential rise in men's heallth research and evaluation reports, the implementation of a comprehensive national men's health training programme, the development of a range of men's health information resources, the emergence of some promising workplace- based men's health promotion initiatives, the expansion of community-based men's health initiatives and the copperfastening of the Men's Health Forum in Ireland's position as the leading men's health advocacy organisation and co-ordinating body for Men's Health Week. The key challenges include translating cross-departmental and inter-sectoral recommendations into sustainable actions, limited funding opportunities, the ambitious scope and breadth of policy recommendations and actions; and ongoing issues with regard to managing expectation and maintaining momentum. Crucially, Ireland's NMHP has provided a vision and a framework for action that has enabled men's health to gain traction and to develop momentum that would otherwise not have been possible.

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