South West Sydney Men’s Health Forum 7th June 2013

The Social Determinants of Health- What Are They?

“The poor health of the poor, the social gradient in health within countries, and the marked health inequities between countries are caused by the unequal distribution of power, income, goods, and services, globally and nationally, the consequent unfairness in the immediate, visible circumstances of people’ s lives – their access to health care, schools, and education, their conditions of work and leisure, their homes, communities, towns, or cities – and their chances of leading a flourishing life. This unequal distribution of health-damaging experiences is not in any sense a ‘natural’ phenomenon but is the result of a toxic combination of poor social policies and programmes, unfair economic arrangements, and bad politics. Together, the structural determinants and conditions of daily life constitute the social determinants of health and are responsible for a major part of health inequities between and within countries”.

World Health Organisation (WHO): Commission on Social Determinants of Health FINAL REPORT 2008.

Men’s Health Forum at Miller PCYC- 7th of June 2013

The inaugural Men’s Health Forum held at the PCYC in Miller on June 7 explored the effects of the social determinants of health on various groups of men. The social determinants are the social and economic conditions that differentially effect health. These conditions may affect, but are different from, individual factors that affect health. (See WHO extract above). The forum, organised by Community STaR in partnership with an advisory group of staff from local and other services and agencies, was coordinated by Harrison Ng Chok from CHETRE. The forum was a result of concern about the health consequences of socio-economic issues affecting our communities. Men’s health issues were focused upon in this forum and participation in the discussion was encouraged by a World Café technique where participants circulated around café-style tables set up as topic discussion areas. Group discussions were framed by the social determinants of health and their effects on the following groups – Aboriginal men, CALD men, unemployed men, young men and older men. Issues discussed included the effects of poverty, discrimination and stigma, trauma, violence, historical injustice and conflict, powerlessness, racism, social dislocation, identity issues, lack of employment options. Emphasis was placed on increasing access to educational, training, retraining, language and employment opportunities, job creation, skill recognition, public transport, housing, health programs and services and the increased funding for community resources in areas of need. An ongoing men’s health network was established to continue the process initiated through the forum.

Services represented in the advisory group were: Green Valley Local Area Command, Liverpool Men’s Shed, Liverpool Migrant Resource Centre, Liverpool Sexual Health Service, Liverpool Youth Accommodation and Assistance Company, UWS Men’s Health Information and Resource centre, Mission Australia, SWSLHD Multicultural Health Service, South West Sydney Youth Peer Education (SWYPE), Strong Fathers – Strong Families Project, The Hub Community Health Centre.

Andrew Reid from The Hub Community Health Centre is the contact person for information about the Men’s Health Network.  Andrew is contactable by phone on 9608 8920 or email: Andrew.Reid@sswahs.nsw.gov.au

john macdonald

Author: Community STaR

Community STaR is the Service for Training and Research. We are a community-based training and outreach activity of the Centre for Health Equity Training, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE), part of UNSW Australia and South Western Sydney Local Health District.

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