Stereotyping happens on a daily basis in social situations, in the workplace, school, home and within the media. I want you to think of a man, you might think you know exactly what role he conforms to, how he speaks, dresses and acts but in reality more and more men in the UK are facing identity isolation.
There is a distinct lack of male support groups, or just relaxed, safe places where men can speak with like-minded people about issues that really matter to them. We’re not talking about a trip to the pub to talk about the latest episode of Game of Thrones (see Stereotyping in the media!), but the real issues men are facing today. From relationships to the role of men in the family, mental health and fatherhood or the absence of.
Fathers Nation is holding a conference aimed at reducing stigma surrounding men opening up, in what is set to be a day full of genuine support and sharing. We’ll create a space where attendees can share their experiences, with a range of workshops and collaborations.
Father’s Nation founder Nelson Rodrigues heads our panel of experts, who will answer your questions and provide a source of education in their specialist field, in addition to the workshop leaders below we’ll also be looking to have guest speakers present on PTSD and Experience with Addiction.
Nelson Rodrigues – Psychotherapist and founder of Father’s Nation
Kul Mahay – The Immersion Coach
Chris Hills – NHS representative
Waheed saleem – Police Commissioner
Dave Heffermen – Understanding PTSD/Ambassador for DADS
Steve Carr – How I Went from a mess To Success In 90 Days – My experience with addiction
Our workshops have been created by a range of experts in their chosen field, looking at a range of topics and strategies for improving mental health, male identity, confidence and emotional awareness. Our full list of topics is below.
1. Aslam Cheval – Coping strategies (sharing stories)
2. Nelson Rodrigues - Men Identity Crisis (Previously Building from Broken Pieces)
3. Kul Mahay – Confidence Building (Boost yourself)
4. Ben Allsop – Thriving past fear and toxic shame
5. Tony Snow – Having Quality Conversations With Yourself
6. Ralf Watson - Emotional Awareness (breaking free)
As sharing your deepest concerns and challenges can be daunting at the best of times, we will give attendees the opportunity to share their stories and questions anonymously, the panel will then discuss and answer these.
So what is the male identity crisis?
Modern man doesn’t have it so easy, bravado tends to mask the true man underneath, in an ironic cloak that the to be a ‘real man’ you can’t share when you need help. Conditioned from a young age to confirm to an expected role, ingrained into men is the ‘need’ to be strong, independent providers who suppress all emotion. Yet today, men’s identities are facing a truly worrying crisis, with recent studies and reports highlighting the detrimental effect this is having on both men and boys of all ages.
Young boys are more likely to suffer ADD than girls, eating disorders in men have risen by 70% over the last six years and male suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, with depression figures rising inline. These statistics aren’t intended to scare or gather sympathy, but to highlight that we need to be doing more to understand why and explaining to men how to cope, to stop talking about real life issues being taboo for men.
What we aim to highlight at the conference is the empathy gap, how we can reduce this and how we can create a community of men who are no longer hiding behind a mask, one of compassion and support.
What can be done?
We need more events like this one! More places where men, teens and boys can share their concerns, their goals, their struggles, their motivations and support one another. It’s not all about the negatives, showing what problems men face but also the positives, building confidence and long term aspirations. We need more positive male role models, less stigma and less focus on the masculine ideology.
If you’d like to be a part of the conference, from attending to exhibiting then you can book your tickets here. Father’s Nation is encouraging men from all backgrounds, to attend, you can participate as much or little as you want but you’ll be in a place where you can share and ask without judgement, gain advice and most importantly a community. Take a look at the Facebook page for the event here.