Policy


EMHF works to develop health policy at the Europe-wide, national, regional and local levels that takes explicit and full account of the physical and mental health of men and boys. Specifically, we would like to see:

  • Men’s health fully part of a ‘gender-sensitive’ approach to policy that takes full account of the needs of both men and women.
  • Sex and gender – male and female – understood to be one of the key social determinants of health and integrated into work to tackle health inequalities. This is relevant to the work of government and other public sector organisations, non-governmental organisations and private companies.
  • Tackling men’s health seen as a priority on the grounds of health equity and health economics.
  • More research into, and analysis of, the men’s health needs, attitudes and behaviours. This must take full account of the impact of economic and social change and the growing older population of men.
  • All health data routinely broken down by sex.
  • Targeted strategies for men at different stages of the life course and from different socio-economic backgrounds and a focus on men from ‘excluded’ groups, such as those who are unemployed, homeless, migrants or offenders.
  • Consultation with men and organisations working with men about the development of policies and services.
  • An emphasis on preventative and health promotion programmes that will improve men’s health outcomes, including a reduction in premature mortality. These will include behaviour change programmes (e.g. smoking, obesity, alcohol), screening (e.g. for diabetes, hypertension, bowel and oral cancers, eye health and abdominal aortic aneurysms), vaccinations (e.g. for HPV) and state regulation (e.g. plain packaging for cigarettes, minimum alcohol pricing, reducing the salt and fat content of food, and tackling the production and sale of counterfeit drugs).
  • The adoption throughout Europe of strategies that have worked in some countries to reduce injury and death at work and on the roads.
  • The development of primary care services (including general practice, dentistry, pharmacy and optometry) that are more accessible for men.
  • A significantly wider range of outreach services for men, including through workplaces, sports stadia, local communities and digital technologies.
  • The development of training courses on men’s health for a wide range of health professionals.
  • A sustained effort to improve men’s health literacy, including symptom awareness and self care. Disorders of the male reproductive system – including lower urinary tract symptoms, prostate disease, erectile dysfunction and infertility – constitute one important area for the development of better awareness among men. There should be better health education for boys, especially through schools.
  • More attention paid to men’s mental health, including developing a better understanding of depression in men and how to tackle the high rate of male suicide.
  • A greater focus on reducing male violence against both women and other men. There should be more intervention programmes for male perpetrators of domestic violence and more help for male victims of domestic violence.
  • Support for the development of men’s health champions and role models – including celebrities, health professionals and ‘ordinary’ people – who can influence healthcare policies and practices as well as men’s attitudes, knowledge and behaviours.

Further Information

More information about EMHF’s policies can be found at:

A Step Into No Man’s Land: Improving men’s use of primary care services in Europe

  • A report on EMHF’s Men’s Health workshop at EHF Gastein, 4 October 2013

Recommendations for actions to ‘The State of Men’s Health in Europe – Extended Report’ 2011

  • A report for the Copenhagen Conference (14-15 June 2012) on ‘Gender and Health through Life’