Male Involvement Project
Bureau of Maternal and Infant Health
Division of Community Health & Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
The Male Projects target young, low income, minority males living in the Chicago area, and Lake, St. Clair, and Madison Counties. The initiative is implemented through numerous community-based projects; Peer Advocates for Health targeting teens ages 14 through 18; Project Brotherhood focusing on males, ages 14 through 45; and Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, focusing on teen males and migrant workers.
The Male Project is intended to integrate family planning services and education into programs in which young men are already receiving other health, education and social services. The project engages men in reproductive health care, and is designed to involve community-based organizations in developing, implementing and testing approaches for delivery of family planning/reproductive health education and services to men.
Services include: reproductive health and family planning education; direct access to health services meeting the needs of adolescent males; mentor/role models; weekly clinic sessions at health centers that welcome young black and minority men with or without appointments for health care; discussion groups which promote health awareness; and education on healthy living, anger management/conflict resolution and parenting skills.
Project Brotherhood provides medical and social support services to sexually active men who are determined to be socially or medically at risk by the medical providers at the Woodland Health Center. The Project includes a social support group that meets weekly during the clinic session in a drop-in center setting and outreach and education through five community barbershops. Project Brotherhood partnerships with the Washington Park Softball League, Komed Health Center, Provident Hospital and the Chicago Department of Public Health HIV/STI prevention outreach. Peer Advocates for Health provides reproductive health information to young men utilizing Trained Peer Advocates from ten different high schools, talk one-on-one with their peers and provide information through group presentations, workshops, health fairs, "Let's Talk About It" sessions for middle school students, a Drop-In Center for students located in gang-neutral territory, basketball breakout sessions and boxing practice at local Park District Field Houses. Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation offers services to teen males, migrant workers, and males within juvenile detention and correctional centers. They provide education and counseling on risky sexual behavior, STD prevention, condom usage, pregnancy prevention, and birth control options. Outreach is provided to various community settings in St. Clair and Madison Counties, such as barber shops, parks, car washes, and community basketball courts.
- Peer Advocates for Health has increased reproductive health knowledge, improved lifestyle choices and increased participants' utilization of clinic services.
- Since 2000, over 180 young African American males have been trained as Peer Advocates, who have provided information to and served as role models for 9,500 young men and women and distributed 45,000 condoms in their own communities.
- Project Brotherhood has provided medical and social services at weekly health clinics; including physical exams, general health care and illness management, health counseling; HIV counseling and testing, educational sessions on STD/HIV prevention, family planning services for fathers and other health seminars to approximately 21,000 clients.
- Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation is networked with East Side Health District and with two regional hospitals, Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in East St. Louis, Il and Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville, Il. SIHC's male involvement project is just beginning, but stands to make an impact on the status of male reproductive health and education.