our plan

Background

 

By the time they reach puberty, 80% of all adolescents stop seeing a pediatrician. Females typically transition to the care of gynecologists. Males, however, typically cease interacting with the health care system until they are much older. As a result, they often engage in risky and other behaviors that lead to preventable disease and disability that can last a lifetime. This presents a dual challenge: to ensure access to care and to engage young males in conversations about their health.

 

On June 7 and 8, 2018 over 100 national leaders from a range of interests and disciplines met in Washington DC to participate in the National Summit on Adolescent and Young Adult Male Health. The groundbreaking summit was sponsored by the Partnership for Male Youth, the first national organization whose sole mission is to address the unique and unmet health related needs of young males. The summit was supported through grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Allergan Foundation, Gilead and Merck. The summit was planned with advice and input from over 40 national organizations that serve male youth.

 

The summit was held to begin laying the groundwork for the Campaign for Male Youth. This marked the first time that stakeholders from disparate interests and disciplines convened in a national forum to discuss how they can work together, specifically through the Campaign, to ensure that young males thrive physically, mentally and in their life goals.

 

Young males were an integral part of the summit, participating in both panel presentations and workgroup sessions. As one participant described their presence: “The experts brought the science to the conversation; the young men brought the heart.”

 

Designed as a working event, the goal was to end it with a work product that could serve as the foundation for the Campaign. The summit was structured with four keynotes and four plenary panel presentations. The panel presentations were each followed by workgroup sessions of eight participants apiece. Each workgroup included a male youth and individuals were assigned to ensure stakeholder diversity. These groups were charged with making recommendations for the Campaign based on the subjects of the plenary panel sessions. At the conclusion of the two-day meeting each workgroup presented their recommendations to the entire body of participants. Comments during the event and in a follow up survey were uniformly positive, in terms of both the content and the event format.

 

The Campaign for Male Youth

 

What follows is the initial Campaign work plan for the period ending February 28, 2019. It is based on the recommendations of summit workgroups.

One of the recommendations from the attendees was that the Campaign should appoint both a Campaign Advisory Panel and a Youth Advisory Committee. What follows is a description of each and their roles relative to other recommendations that emerged from the summit which are detailed below. The recommendations will be the foundation efforts for the Campaign for the period August 2018 through February 2019.

Campaign Advisory Panel

 

The Campaign Advisory Panel will be composed of subject experts representing diverse stakeholders in AYA male health (for example: education, juvenile justice, physical health, mental health, sports, faith communities), initially from organizations that participated in the summit or its planning. 

 

The overall purpose of the Panel is to serve as the Campaign’s “brain trust”. In that role, members will be called upon from time to time, mostly on a one-on-one basis, to offer advice to PMY staff on ongoing or proposed Campaign projects and activities. The panel will hold conference calls from time to time, not to exceed one hour each and not to occur more than four times per year. Semi-annual in-person meetings may be held in lieu of conference calls. Only one such meeting per year is contemplated. The first such meeting will not occur before the second quarter of calendar year 2019.

 

The panel will work in tandem with the Campaign Youth Committee (see below). The charge of that committee is to provide input similar to the advisory panel, but from the perspective of young males themselves. As of this date the committee is composed of 8 males, mostly aged 20 and over.

 

The following campaign staff workplan emerged from the recommendations of the workgroups that met during the summit. The first task of the Campaign Advisory Panel will be to review the following workplan and to provide one-on-one advice and guidance on it to PMY campaign staff.

 

 

Campaign Youth Advisory Committee

 

The Campaign Advisory Panel will work in tandem with the Campaign Youth Committee. The charge of that committee is to provide input similar to the advisory panel, but from the perspective of young males themselves. As of this date the committee is composed of 8 males, mostly aged 20 and over.

 

Initial Campaign Recommendations from Summit Workgroups

 

  • Complete manuscript of summit proceedings for submission to publisher;

  • Create and launch websites and other social media platforms ;

  • Reach out to the current list of actual and potential stakeholders (+225 that were invited to participate in the summit) to disseminate this summary and begin a landscape analysis of existing programs pertaining to AYA male health (both evidence-based and experimental);

  • Expand stakeholder list to include individuals, organizations and subject experts that are identified as a result of the above;

  • Beginning with materials already developed by the Partnership, begin building an online clearinghouse of existing information on young male health;

  • Create short and long- term draft outlines for the Campaign. Summit attendees recommended that these should:

    • Include a comprehensive, strategic communications plan;

    • Give special consideration to the unique needs of minority male youth;

    • Clearly identify the intended audience for each activity and ensure that the activity is developmentally appropriate for that audience; for example, age, race, religion and ethnicity;

    • Message using imagery and symbolism that is relatable, targeted to the intended audiences and is easy to understand;

    • Strive to design campaign programs so that their effectiveness can be evaluated;

    • Build a culture of health, based on a strengths-based model as utilized during the summit;

    • Create a national network of male youth leaders, along the lines of the Parkland, Florida model; and

    • Identify existing points of health care access for young males. (To begin working with organizations that represent professionals in those environments (beginning with those that participated in the summit), to develop program concepts to educate them and young males about pertinent health issues. For example, school-based health clinics, emergency rooms, juvenile justice counselors, faith-based and community-based service providers.

  • Hold an in-person meeting of the Youth Advisory Committee to discuss their feedback on the summit and propose ideas for activities and programs;

  • Begin building the structure for college peer outreach programs to engage young males in campaigns that address specific issues; for example, mental health and substance use disorders, STIs, HIV, risk taking and norms of masculinity. The effort would be modeled on similar programs undertaken by other national organizations and partnerships (for example, Advocates for Youth, JED Foundation, American College Health Association, Proud2BMe, Active Minds); and

  • Create and launch website and other social media platforms with health information and messages that are specifically designed for young males.

  • ​(Ongoing) Identify and enlist campaign participants and funders from:

    • NGOs, including Foundations​

    • Industry

    • Government agencies