Spotlight on men’s well-being, mental health this Wednesday

THE Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will turn the spotlight on men’s well-being and mental health with the staging of a banner event on Wednesday to mark International Men’s Day (IMD) 2023, which was actually on Sunday.

Approximately 150 participants are expected to attend the event which will be held at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, under the theme: ‘Men and Mental Health: Men-Tally Aware Men-Tally Prepared!’

IMD was marked internationally on Sunday under the theme: ‘Zero Male Suicide.’

Olivia Grange, the minister of gender affairs, said that the banner event will highlight numerous ways in which men can work in partnership to support the development of Brand Jamaica while they balance their family responsibilities, personal and professional lives.

Her message was delivered by principal director in the ministry Sharon Coburn Robinson, at an IMD commemorative church service at Swallowfield Chapel in St Andrew.

Minister Grange said that IMD presents an excellent platform for men to coach and mentor boys.

“In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘We must become the change we want to see in this world.’ I encourage our men, therefore, to lead by example to create a better society,” she urged.

Minister Grange said that the ministry, through the work of the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), recognises the need “to establish and maintain harmonious gender relations as non-negotiable planks towards the achievement of gender equity, equity and social justice”.

“This inclusive approach is highlighted through the Male Empowerment Unit, which was recently established within the BGA. It provides a confidential and non-discriminatory space where men and boys can discuss the myriad… challenges they face,” she noted.

The minister commended Swallowfield Chapel for its ongoing community outreach programmes, which include Christian education, youth and young adults programmes, a prison and shut-ins ministry, and prayer walks.

She noted that the church’s “tireless advocacy… has undoubtedly impacted the spiritual and socio-cultural dimensions of several communities”.

The IMD activities are being organised by the BGA in collaboration with developmental partners and key stakeholders.