Chair terms and activities
Men have a shorter life expectancy than women. On average, they die five years earlier and 70% of those deaths are due to the life styles men choose. Due to societal messages, men tend towards risky jobs and activities, which put them in danger. We need an upstream approach to keep men healthy and reduce early death.
Dr. Kuhl was appointed as Mohammad H. Mohseni Foundation Hospital Chair in Men’s Health at Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) in 2017 with a mandate to improve the health and well-being of men. In the past four years, Dr. Kuhl has transformed men’s lives by wading in to shift the dialogue and protect men across BC and our country.
We are excited to share with you the strides Dr. Kuhl made.
Update and milestones
Over the past year, Dr. Kuhl has continued to champion the health of men through his organization, Blueprint (formerly known as The Men’s Initiative). Blueprint catalyzes a global conversation about the state and impact of men in the world. Under Dr. Kuhl’s leadership, Blueprint established an Advisory Board, which includes 20 industry professionals. The Board met for the first time in 2020 and is already shaping the organization’s direction.
Leading Blueprint and partnering with world-leading experts, Dr. Kuhl has adapted to the new health landscape of COVID-19. He has established virtual programming and devised cutting-edge research projects for the men who entertain us, the men who protect us, the men who lead us and, newly, the men who are our fathers.
The men who entertain us
Dr. Kuhl’s Good Men in Sport (GMIS) program has broadened its reach in the past year, impacting the lives of university athletes, NHL Alumni and the public at large.
Responding to the pandemic, Dr. Kuhl adapted his existing programs to deliver them remotely to students at the Universities of British Columbia and Oregon. Already the results are positive. University athletes reported changes in behavior and a shifted definition of what it means to be a good person.
Retirement can be jarring. It takes athletes away from what has defined them their whole lives. They need support and, recognizing this need, Dr. Kuhl was appointed Advisor to the Vancouver Canucks Alumni regarding mental and physical health and well-being. In this capacity, Dr. Kuhl worked with a team to write the “Transition Action Plan,” a document based on more than 25 interviews with NHL players. The report was written on behalf of 21 NHL alumni and contributed to developing programs of support for players as they transition into retirement.
Sportsnet: The Mental Game
So much in sports happens out of the spotlight: the pressure to perform, the stress of carrying a team and the related strain on players’ mental health. The brand-new mini series “The Mental Game” on Sportsnet showcases this part of the game one does not see. Dr. Kuhl provided content expertise to this five-part series of under 10 minute movies that reveals the struggles male elite athletes face everyday.
The men who protect us
When we are in danger, the first place we turn are first responders: firefighters, search and rescue and police officers. But, who do these responders turn to when they face trauma, grief and loss associated with their jobs? They have few supports and mental illness is all too prevalent. Seeing the need to treat these responders and provide care, Dr. Kuhl initiated a 3.5 day resiliency program in partnership with fire departments in Richmond, North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam. In 2020, Dr. Kuhl has successfully transitioned the essential program to a virtual model so that it can continue to provide vital care to firefighters in the face of COVID-19. The program helps to change culture and raise awareness for the challenges that come with being a first responder.
The men who lead us
The #metoo movement is changing the way we interact in the work place and Dr. Kuhl is exploring exactly how. His all-new research project will explore how the expectations of male business leaders have changed after #metoo and how the movement has impacted relationships between genders. Submitted to the research ethics board, the study will include focus groups of leaders in business across North America and a survey of over 2,000 workers.
The men who are fathers
The pandemic has been hard on all of us. Rates of anxiety and depression are elevated. Our world has changed around us and all that was certain has become turbulent. It is no surprise then that being a father in this climate has also changed and Dr. Kuhl is exploring how. Dr. Kuhl has initiated a national study that will use focus groups to study the experience of being a father in the pandemic. The team has already undertaken a literature review and their work has garnered media attention, including 16 radio interviews and three newspaper articles.