Expert advice on men’s health – on an international stage

Kilkenny’s Dr Noel Richardson – who served as physical trainer with the county’s hurlers from 2005 to 2009 including four All-Irelands – offered his expertise at an international conference in Canada recently.

Kilkenny’s Dr Noel Richardson – who served as physical trainer with the county’s hurlers from 2005 to 2009 including four All-Irelands – offered his expertise at an international conference in Canada recently.

Dr Richardson, who is director of IT Carlow’s National Centre for Men’s Health, was one of two international speakers to be invited to speak at the Boys’ and Men’s Health Forum in Ottawa, the country’s capital.

Also a board member of The European Men’s Health Forum, Dr Richardson was Ireland’s contributing author to The State of Men’s Health in Europe report earlier this year. That report revealed that every year twice as many men of working age (16-64) die as women, with some 630,000 male and 300,000 female deaths across the 27 EU countries in this age group. If current projections are correct, it would mean a reduction of nearly 24 million working-age men across the EU by 2060.

Over 70 attendees in Ottawa with international expertise in policy, public health, academia and men’s health practice were keen to learn about Dr Richardson’s work in the area and were particularly interested in learning from and building upon the Irish approach to men’s health policy development and implementation.

Dr Richardson’s contribution to the forum was key to the main objectives of the forum, which included gender-sensitive framing of boys’ and men’s health issues, highlighting research gaps in the area and policy development for improving awareness of and improving boys’ and men’s health.

Following the forum, Dr Richardson said “This was an excellent forum for information sharing with Canadian and international colleagues in men’s health and raised a number of exciting possibilities for collaborative research and policy work.”

The Centre for Men’s Health at IT Carlow is the only dedicated centre for men’s health research in Ireland. The centre’s aim is to develop innovative and applied research programmes in the area of men’s health through the development of partnerships with key stakeholders. In doing so, the centre seeks to raise the public profile of men’s health issues and to contribute to effective and gender-competent policy and practice on men’s health in Ireland.