Single Fathers Association talks men’s physical and mental health | Loop Trinidad & Tobago – Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

Absorbed in tending to the needs of others, men often neglect their own personal health and well-being, says Wendell Grant, co-founder Single Fathers Association (SFATT).

The Association was founded in 2012 by Rhondall Feeles as a response to a court ruling that granted him a mere 4 days per month to spend time with his son, which he deemed unjust. Since then, the group has become a growing chorus of voices speaking out in the name of judicial injustices involving visitation rights and custody, with a mandate of ensuring that fathers who wish to take active roles in their childrens lives are allowed to do so.

Grant spoke with Loop News about barriers to men seeking to improve their mental and physical health and the societal shift that needs to happen to ensure that they can be their best selves.

We encourage men to live healthy lives, he said. If a man is not healthy, he cannot be a provider and protectorhe cannot be a father. Grant continued: If a man dies prematurely, his child suffers in the same way as if he does not pay his maintenance.

He said that through the Associations social media page, they make the effort to raise awareness about getting regular prostate exams, along with checks for blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

We approach mens issues in a holistic manner, meaning body, soul and spirit, Grant said. We dont only focus on the issues of the law and access to children.

Grant said that men often leave their own needs unmet as they are consumed with the business of being good providers.

A 2013 Philadelphia Magazine article stated that men are not charged with the role of family-health maintenance, and therefore dont develop a connection to the health-maintenance system, only leaning into taking special care of themselves when they have to, after sustaining an injury or suffering an illness.

The writer explains that this negligence of medical needs is an extension of traditional family gender roles, where the responsibility of provider would be thrust upon men, while women, regardless of whether or not they hold a job, would be engaged in looking after the family. Men, taken up with their responsibilities, may fall into a routine of overlooking their own health until they are perhaps forced to take things more seriously.

Grant reiterated this, saying that Men focus on providing everyone elses needs but their own.

When it comes to mental health and well-being, the negligence is often consistent, with men often feeling like there arent many outlets to express their psychological needs or to voice their weaknesses. Bearing in mind that two-thirds of all suicides are by men, the trend of neglect is concerning.

There are two places that cater to menthe rum shop and the jail, Grant said, referring to them as the only...places that a man can be sure to be heard.

The societal shifts regarding men needing to be more open about their problems, Grant argued, have not happened as people would imagine, with several men still forced to suffer in silence, in part, due to the reactions of the very women to whom they confide their issues.

Grant said that the Association would organise open forums where men and women can contribute to conversations on lifestyle, parenting and issues that involve both sexes. Men...come and share their experiences [and] what theyre going through, he said. And...women jump on [their] case [and] emasculate and ridicule them.

He lamented, We say that we want men to speak up, but when they begin to speak, we dont want to hear them. Thats one of the biggest reasons why men...operate the way that they do.

Grant said that a simple Google search reveals a host of services targeting women and children. He made reference to womens shelters, saying that there was a lack of equivalent services for men who find themselves on the wrong side of the law, and who end up displaced and in need of re-direction as a result.

We talk a lot about mental health in this country, but when it comes to making provisions for men to access health [services], there are very few things in place.

Grant suggested that the government put more initiatives in place to accommodate men in need and asked that romantic partners be more empathetic toward men who make themselves vulnerable about their emotional difficulties.

Visit the Single Fathers Association of Trinidad and Tobago on Facebook for more information on the groups efforts.

Read the rest here:
Single Fathers Association talks men's physical and mental health | Loop Trinidad & Tobago - Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

Related Post

Comments are closed.