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Engaging men in health

March 2009

FocusEngaging men in health

The newly single man

Volume 38, No.3, March 2009 Pages 98-100

The newly single manDarren Russell FRACGP, DipVen, FAChSHM, is Clinical Associate Professor, The University of Melbourne and James Cook University, and Director of Sexual Health, Cairns Sexual Health Service, Cairns, Queensland.

Background

The newly single man may be attending a consultation for an issue related to the end of a relationship, or he may present for a totally unrelated physical reason. The consultation with a newly single man presents an opportunity to engage in health promotion activities.

Objective

Issues relevant to three discrete age groups: 14–25, 26–45, and 46–70 years, will be discussed and interventions will be outlined.

Discussion

Health issues will vary according to the life stage and the age of the man as well as his personal circumstances. However, issues surrounding mental health (including suicidality), drug use (including tobacco and alcohol), and sexual health are pertinent and the presentation provides the general practitioner with the opportunity to raise these issues and encourage discussion.

A consultation with the newly single man is a great opportunity for the general practitioner, or indeed for any other health practitioner. The man may be attending for an issue related to the end of a relationship, or perhaps he will be looking toward the future. Alternatively, he may present for a totally unrelated physical reason. The GP may also be the health care provider for the partner from whom the man has separated, and on occasion this can present some ethical dilemmas, or at least make for some awkward consultations!

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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