Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A mission that I could get behind

Today the folks at The Boys Initiative announced the appointment of three of its members, doctors David L. Bell, Arthur Elster, and Arik Marcell, as founding members of the steering committee to guide the upcoming project Health Guidelines for Adolescent and Young Adult Males.

The site lists out five main purposes of the project:

  • 1) identify promising clinical interventions, and appropriate clinical settings, for adolescent male health
  • 2) create clinical prevention guidelinesfor [sic] adolescent males
  • 3) distribute and foster application of those guidelines in clinical practice
  • 4) foster relevant public and continuing medical education programs
  • 5) promote public policies that will advance adoption of the guidelines in clinical practice.

It looks like they will be working to see exactly where young males are having trouble in life with hopes of working with agencies and organizations towards ways to address these problem spots. What problem spots exactly?

How about an in depth look at how sexual education (as well as parenting education) for young males is lacking and very limited at best to down right detrimental at worst?

Maybe going into the state of physical health, fitness, and nutrition as it relates to young males?

Perhaps opening up some real dialogue on the topic of violence and trauma and how it relates to young males (in more ways than "men hurt women and girls").

And of course there is what may be the biggest elephant in the room. Mental health. You need only look at the end of the line to see that mental health is a big issue for males, not just the young ones at that. The vast majority of suicides are committed by males after all.

The project is scheduled to take place over the course of the next two years (broken up into four phase, as described on the site linked above) and function as a source of information on these topics so that they can be used in the larger overall conversation.

I for one think that that larger conversation is long overdue.

Let's hope that this project plays a role in it happening.