Northern Health Responds to “Where are the Men?

In 2010 a report by Dr. Bowering, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Health called out loudly, “Where are the Men.” In this report, Dr. Bowering highlighted many prominent health challenges for men living in northern BC, including higher rates of:

  • Cancer
  • Suicide
  • Occupational deaths
  • Chronic disease

Why do we see higher rates in the north than elsewhere in the province? There are many factors that determine whether people are healthy, but living conditions, income, employment, education, housing, food, sex and gender, the environment, personal skills all contribute, as well as lower access rates of health care.

health factors

Northern Health has responded with a commitment to men’s health through the creation of programs that improve health outcomes.

To make this a reality, Northern Health identified the following key themes:

  • Health care systems that recognize the need to value men and their role in the community
  • The need for safe space for men to speak about their health
  • Identifying a direct connection between men’s health and their ability to work
  • A stronger emphasis on the health component of health and safety
  • Partnerships with Industry, WorkSafe BC and other stakeholders
  • Men’s health will improve when men become a part of the conversation
  • Men need information about their bodies to keep them healthy
  • A men’s health program should adopt a holistic and inclusive approach

Today we can see Northern Health’s commitment in action with the Northern BC Man Challenge – an exciting and interactive website that challenges men to become more engaged with their health and wellness, in turn, asking “where are the men?”

The Northern BC Man Challenge was created to respond to the concerns raised by men living in northern BC during their community consultation, in which they expressed a need for communication tools that engage men in a straight forward, pragmatic, and fun way to address health concerns.

Iridia Medical is enthusiastic that this initiative, along with the commitment from Northern Health will benefit many men who live in BC’s northern communities.

Iridia is actively involved with communities in northern BC and employs many paramedics who work in the oil and gas industry – we will work closely with our paramedics to support this program and future wellness programs from Northern Health.

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