Connecting with young men’: The impact of training in ireland

Paula Carroll, N. Noel Richardson, Billy Grace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


‘Connecting with Young Men’, Unit 6 in ENGAGE, Ireland’s National Men’s Health Training programme was developed to support service providers to engage young in mental health and related services. This study evaluated the impact of Unit 6 on front line service providers’ knowledge, skills, capacity, and practice pre and immediately post-training via questionnaire (n=206). At 1-month post-training interviews were conducted with youth workers (n=11), SPHE (social and emotional health curriculum) teachers (n=3), and sports personnel (n=3) (12-40 mins) to explore their experience of the training and its impact on practice. Overall, feedback regarding training satisfaction was largely positive (8.43±1.43/10). Participants self-reported level of knowledge (p=0.000), skills (p=0.000), capacity to engage (p<0.003) and identify priorities for young men (p<0.001), and success at convincing other service providers within (p<0.001) and beyond (p<0.000) their organization to prioritize engaging young men increased immediately post-training. Notably, 57.3% of service providers said that they would integrate the training into their work practice. Critical components of Unit 6 included (a) the focus on understanding gender as a dynamic construct, (b) the use of experiential and interactive sessions, and (c) the integration of ongoing reflective practice. The provision of more practical tips on ‘how’ to initiate and build relationships with young men as well as including young men’s voices would strengthen the training. Unit 6 has been effective in building capacity among service providers to engage young men. While assessing the longer-term impact of the training on practice is recommended, these findings have implications for those who wish to develop gender-sensitive services for young men elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e24-e35
JournalInternational Journal of Men's Social and Community Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2020


  • Gender Sensitised
  • Young Men


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