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New men’s mental health support program created

By Randy Thoms Jan 26, 2024 | 1:22 PM

A mental health support group for men meets for the first time today.

The Canadian Mental Health Association in Fort Frances started the group to provide men an opportunity to discuss what is on their minds or listen to others.

Mental health worker Levi Morris says they saw a need for the program.

“There’s some socialization with boys who are told not to cry or men who are told to suck it up or take it like a man when dealing with life’s pressures. So we’re socialized to not really talk about our emotions as much,” says Morris.

The program is open to any man, 16 or old.

Morris says it is provided in a safe, nonjudgmental space.

He adds it is an opportunity to build new friendships, relationships, and a sense of community, and encourage resiliency and positive mental health.

The first meeting took place on Friday, with subsequent gatherings to be held monthly.

“We want to, with this program, help to destigmatize addiction and mental illness. We also want to normalize men expressing their thoughts and feelings and make it that much easier to maybe getting on the path to the help and supports that they might need,” says Morris.

Morris notes men account for 75% of suicides in Canada and are three times more likely to experience addiction and substance abuse compared to women.