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Men's Health Peer Education

What is Men's Health Peer Education?

The Men’s Health Peer Education (MHPE) program raises awareness about men's health issues and encourages men to share responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The program began in 1999 as a result of the Vietnam Veterans’ Health Study revealing a higher rate of health issues among Vietnam Veterans. The program operates across all Australian states and territories, through a network of trained volunteers working with the veteran and ex-service community.

These MHPE program resources, both for the initial training and any subsequent topics, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

As a volunteer you might:

  • give a talk on a health issue at an ex-service organisation meeting
  • set up or work with a ‘Men’s Shed’
  • run a stand at a community expo, field day or health conference
  • organise or support a Veterans’ Health Week and/or International Men’s Health Week event
  • distribute the MHPE Magazine and other health resources
  • chat about health issues to a mate at a barbeque
  • encourage and support veterans to participate in DVA Health Promotion initiatives such as Pit Stop training, the Cooking for one or two program and 10,000 Steps Challenge

The Men's Health Peer Education website provides:

Volunteer training

Training is open to any male or female member of the veteran and ex-service community with a genuine interest in helping veterans learn about healthy lifestyle choices. Non-veterans can volunteer if they have an understanding of the unique health issues faced by current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and are actively involved with the veteran community. It is up to the volunteer to determine their own time commitment.

DVA MHPE volunteers need to sign a Volunteer Agreement, agreeing to abide by the MHPE Volunteer Code of Conduct and Roles and Responsibilities.

The MHPE volunteer training course is held over three days and trains volunteers to provide health information to their veteran peers to encourage better lifestyle choices. The MHPE volunteer training course equips volunteers with fundamental health knowledge, awareness and skills to allow them to interact with their peers. MHPE volunteers also receive a Volunteer Resource manual to assist them in their role.

How do I apply to attend an MHPE Volunteer Training Course?

The following information applies to potential MHPE volunteers who wish to enquire or apply about undertaking DVA-run training course for the ex-service community in their own state.

To attend a training course you need to complete the MHPE Volunteer Application Form and return it to your local DVA MHPE Coordinator who will then screen the application, including arranging to interview the applicant to determine suitability for training.

MHPE Volunteer Training Calendar 2016 - Dates and Locations

Initial Training is delivered when we have sufficient numbers to deliver a course.

Please contact the DVA MHPE Coordinator for your State/Territory and request to have your name added to the volunteer training waiting list. If a training course is not held in your State/Territory, and your application to attend training is successful, you will be offered the opportunity to travel, at DVA’s expense, to another training location.

MHPE Recall Days 2016 - Dates and Locations

Please contact the DVA MHPE Coordinator for your State/Territory for recall training dates.

MHPE volunteer-in-training

Being an MHPE volunteer-in-training (MVIT) gives you the opportunity to learn more about the MHPE volunteer role while providing some assistance to the program. MVITs are mentored by an MHPE volunteer who must have active status and at least two years’ experience in the role.

How do I become a volunteer-in-training?

The first step in becoming an MVIT is to complete the D9133 - MHPE Volunteer Application Form.  If your application is accepted, you can request to become an MVIT. If you don’t have any links to the MHPE program, the DVA MHPE Coordinator for your state or territory can help you find a mentor.

Volunteer expenses

DVA will arrange and pay for approved travel and accommodation expenses for participants attending MHPE volunteer training and for volunteers attending recall training (but not for MHPE volunteers-in-training).

Eligible persons journeying overnight will receive a travel allowance to cover the cost of meals and incidentals. If a request to travel by private car has been approved, a motor vehicle allowance will be paid. All allowances are paid after the completion of training. Reimbursement of expenses such as parking and e-toll charges need prior approval from DVA.

DVA does not cover out-of-pocket expenses for phone, travel, purchase of equipment and general administrative expenses involved in the normal day-to-day role of volunteering.

DVA funding may be available to assist volunteers to run key MHPE events or activities such as an expo stand. DVA may also cover volunteer travel and out-of-pocket expenses for DVA MHPE-organised events. DVA funding of volunteer activities requires prior approval and will be at the discretion of the DVA MHPE State or Territory Coordinator.

If you would like further information, you can:

  • talk to your local DVA MHPE Coordinator - they can put you in touch with a volunteer in your area to tell you more about the role
  • attend a ‘Recall’ day as an observer- these are refresher days for MHPE volunteers - talk to your local coordinator to find out more
  • potentially become a MHPE volunteer-in-training.

Men’s Health Peer Education Magazine

The latest issue of Men’s Health Peer Education Magazine is available online or you can order a free copy of the magazine by completing the following order form and emailing it to DVA's men's health.

The MHPE Magazine is published three times a year. Each issue covers a topical health theme with articles contributed by health professionals, DVA staff and MHPE volunteers.

Health quiz

To help you manage your health and wellbeing we have also developed a quick health quiz and health information guide.

DVA MHPE coordinators

For specific information about Men’s Health Peer Education in your state or territory, please contact the relevant DVA MHPE Coordinator.

DVA MHPE Coordinators
Title Location Phone number Email address
QLD DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Brisbane 07 3223 8715
WA DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Perth 08 9366 8359
VIC DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Melbourne 03 9284 6682
NT DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Darwin 08 8935 1400
SA DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Adelaide 08 8290 0375
TAS DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Hobart 03 6221 6711
NSW & ACT DVA MHPE Coordinator DVA Sydney 02 9213 7661

DVA MHPE Coordinators can also be contacted by contacting DVA.

If contacting by mail, please send to:

MHPE State/Territory Coordinator
Department Veterans' Affairs
GPO Box 9998
In your capital city

Acknowledgements and permissions

DVA undertakes regular reviews of the MHPE pages to ensure the accuracy of the health education information supplied. Any decision about personal health requirements should be taken in conjunction with professional medical advice.

DVA thanks Mr David Moles, Vietnam Veteran and Chairman of the Tasmanian pilot project for his help in setting up the national Men's Health Peer Education program. DVA is grateful to all health care providers and organisations that have assisted MHPE by providing health education material and expert advice.

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