Today is International Men’s Day (IMD), an opportunity for people everywhere to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.
It’s a day for the world to celebrate the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. The theme for 2019 is ‘Making a difference for men and boys’. This initiative is now in its 20th year, with many charities running awareness campaigns around it.
IMD coordinator, Warwick Marsh, says, “Our mission this year is to help individuals, families, communities, small business and corporates, including government, to make a difference for men and boys.
“Boys need positive male role models. We want to promote the need to value males and help people make practical improvements in men and boy’s health and well-being.”
Many organisations are using this opportunity to raise awareness around issues surrounding mens mental health, including male suicide. The UK is focussing on:
- The high male suicide rate.
- The challenges faced by boys and men at all stages of education, including attainment.
- Men’s health, shorter life expectancy and workplace deaths.
- The challenges faced by the most marginalised men and boys in society (for instance, homeless men, boys in care and the high rate of male deaths in custody).
- Male victims of violence, including sexual violence.
- The challenges faced by men as parents, particularly new fathers and separated fathers.
- Male victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based crime, stalking and slavery.
- The negative portrayal of men, boys and fathers.
There are a range of events taking place to support IMD including: conferences, health days, debates, panels, seminars, discussions, wellbeing events and so on. Some of these will promote mindfulness and wellness therapy, proven to help promote positive mental and physical health.
Among the many benefits, especially for males, is the opportunity to learn how to address and speak about their feelings and emotions. Traditionally, men tend to shy away from expressing themselves in this way among their peers. Sadly, it’s far easier for males to have a laugh and banter. Showing emotion is seen as weak so remains hidden.
Thankfully, men and boys are increasingly taking more open and practical measures when dealing with mental health issues. There are also more resources specifically targeted at males and their seeming reluctance to deal with this problem.
The mindfulness workshops we offer at Carbon Retreat are a good example of the wellbeing practices used more regularly. Check out Prash K’s video above, providing handy tips for understanding and managing stress. He hosts the Urban Spirituality Wellness Retreat we hold at Chantry House.
Chris Hill, with his Get Your Life Back retreat, is another of our partners teaching techniques encouraging positive wellbeing for mind, body and soul.
Realising that it actually takes strength to admit to, and overcome, mental health issues goes a long way to addressing any potential problem. Living positively in the first place can reduce the likelihood of more severe issues developing.
You can find out more about International Men’s Day 2019 via the links provided below.
Our upcoming retreats are listed in the Wellbeing section.
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