When our mate’s dad ignored the warning signs and eventually died of a preventable illness we realised that we must do something to prevent other men following the same path.
When it came to our own health, we had all at some point said, “she’ll be ‘right” and it occurred to us that ‘she’ will be ‘right…because ‘she’ visits her doctor regularly and ‘she’ talks to her friends about her health and wellbeing. But ‘he’ doesn’t; so we pondered how could we shift the attitudes and behaviours of Australian men to to make sure “he’ll be ‘right”?
It became immediately apparent that the social and systemic framework for men’s health is broken.
Being simple blokes, we understood that such a complex challenge could only be tackled with a simple solution. We quickly agreed we couldn’t fix ‘the system’ but we could help men take control of their own health and in doing so, drive a generational shift in attitudes to men’s health. Quite simply; through better conversations and preventative action.
In 2015, the idea for Prick ‘n A Pint was formed and a team of legends pushed a wheel barrow 88kms to the top of Mount Buffalo in the annual Barrowthon event to help us raise funds to kick start the program. In 2016 we formed an Incorporated Association with a skills based committee and started developing the concept and then set about to create a wave of preventative health action by Australian men.
The concept couldn’t be simpler: get a bunch of blokes in a pub to talk about health with the same keen interest as the other passions in their lives, guided expertly by a GP. Our Medical Director (Who is a super-charged female regional GP by day) developed a program aligned to The Royal Australian College of General Practitioner’s (RACGP) guidelines to ensure the the medial information we share is current and sound. Our Five Pillars of Health framework enables men to relate their own health indicators to enact positive, real-world health action.
Between 2017 to 2018 we tested and piloted the program over two years in pubs in regional Victoria and were staggered at the positive power the program unleashed. Melbourne University’s Medical School Ethics Committee endorsed a research study of Prick ‘n A Pint to understand how something so simple could have such profound impact. Amongst the high-brow medical theory of the report one quote stood out to us, describing the program simply as “something kind of magical”.
We are now realising our ambition of expanding nationally and internationally to reduce the impact of preventable illness and death for as many men as we can possibly reach.