Thursday 2 July, 2020

International Men’s Day: Here's what's happening locally

A health and wellness expo, a job fair, and school tours are among several activities slated to mark International Men’s Day on Tuesday, November 19.

Other events scheduled for the day and week include the pinning of male Members of Parliament and Senators at Gordon House at 2 pm, and a wellness fair at the Rudolph Elder Park in Morant Bay, St Thomas, on Friday, November 22, beginning at 10 am.

The events are being organised by the Bureau of Gender Affairs (BGA), a division in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, in collaboration with key stakeholders, under the theme ‘Building Strong Men Through Health and Wellness: Balance di Ting’.

Acting Director of Policy and Research at the BGA, Nardia McLaren, told JIS News that men and boys will be celebrated during the Bureau’s headline event on the day – a forum and expo, scheduled for the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston from 9 am to 4 pm.

She said the event, which will include sessions on wellness, financial health and stress management, aims to promote greater awareness of men’s mental health and wellness as well as create a safe space for them to access support on issues impacting them.

These include conflict management, job placement, routine health checks, and prostate cancer.

“It is an occasion for men to celebrate their achievements and contribution, in particular, their contribution to community, family, marriage and child care while highlighting the challenges they face,” Miss McLaren said.

She underscored the relevance and importance of the day’s theme, emphasising that men and boys need to “balance di ting’ in all their activities.

“We need our boys to ‘balance di ting’ because mental health and awareness is very important. Mental health is not only being diagnosed as being sick but mental health has to do with the whole mentality of the man,” the Director added.

Miss McLaren said that the Bureau will continue to address the issues that men and boys are facing, “so that they are better able to contribute to nation-building and be prosperous in their everyday lives”.

She also encouraged Jamaicans to share their International Men’s Day celebrations in their organisations by using the hashtag handles #internationalmensdayja2019, #IMDbalanceditingja2019 and #thankamantodayja.

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