Back in November, Northern Health released a report examining the state of men’s health in northern BC, and the finding weren’t good.
The report said that men in northern BC have much higher rates of various medical problems than women, including obesity and cancer, and that more needs to be done to address the health of men and boys. Now Northern Health is hoping to see that happen by offering 15 grants of $1,000 to people who want to start an organization of program that would benefit men’s health.
“Lets say they’re already a group of people ready to do something about the health of First Nations seniors, but maybe they’re looking to expand their group to bring in younger men or maybe even women and are need of money, we can set that process up,” says David Bowering who was the chief medical officer for Northern Health when the report was released.
Applicants don’t need to have an existing organization or program in order to get the grant, but whatever they decide to start with the money will need to self-sufficient because Northern Health won’t be giving them any more after that.
The hope is that by giving out the 15 grants, Northern Health will be able create independent men’s health initiatives that they can then bring together into a informal network of health services for men throughout the region.
“This initiative recognizes that the problem of Men’s health can be handled by Northern Health alone, not even close. We need lots of regional partners to deal with a problem like this,” says Bowering.
“Part of the reason that Women and children aren’t as healthy as they’d like to be, is that men are really unhealthy, as a generalization. The premise is that a healthier man will be able to be better fathers, better brothers, better supports for their partners, and they will help build better communities,” says Bowering.