The Table Community Food Centre and Lanark County Mental Health join together to bring social worker and educator Rick Goodwin to Perth to follow up Mental Health Week 2015 with an important film screening and discussion about how to support male survivors of sexual abuse.
One in six. According to researchers at 1in6 Canada, that’s the approximate number of men in Canada who have experienced childhood sexual abuse.1 That’s about three million men across Canada –nearly six thousand men in Lanark County alone.
The impacts of sexual trauma on individual boys and men, their families and the wider community can be devastating. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), aggression, addictions and suicidal thoughts are just a few of the issues that commonly affect male survivors.2Yet too often the causes of men’s suffering remain unspoken, and theirmental health issues gounrecognized and untreated. Why?
“The short answer is stigma and gender expectations,” says Colin Vincent, a social workerat Lanark County Mental Health. “There’s still considerable stigma around mental illness, particularly among men, and sexual abuse is even more taboo. Shame keeps men isolated. On top of that, we learn earlyon that being strong means keeping our feelings to ourselves andgoing it alone, like a character from a John Wayne movie. So men are understandably reluctant to speak about their emotional pain, or to reach out for help.”
Enter social worker and educator Rick Goodwin, co-founder of The Men’s Project, an Ottawa organization that provides counselling services tailored to the specific needs of men and their families. Rick will visit The Table in Perth on May 13 to present a documentary film about male sexual trauma and to discuss what the healing process looks like for men who have been sexually abused.
“We’re looking forward to hosting Rick and providing a space for this important conversation around men’s healing,” says Ramsey Hart, Executive Director at The Table, a co-sponsor of the event along with Lanark County Mental Health. “Learning more about men’s unique mental health struggles is a starting place. Hopefully in opening up this conversation, we’ll make it easier for men to speak out and access help in Lanark County.”
The event is free and open to the public and is part of The Table’s monthly movie and discussion series. As there is on every Wednesday, a free community meal is available from 4:30 to 6:00 pm and those interested in watching the film and joining the discussion are welcome to come early for supper.
Healing Boys and Men, a Documentary and Discussion hosted by Rick Goodwin of The Men’s Project The Table Community Food Centre, 190 Gore Street East, Perth, Ontario Wednesday May 13, 2015