A group of professional counsellors and psychologists will tomorrow host a men’s mental health meeting at Nthanda Lodge in Lilongwe.
Speaking during a press briefing in Lilongwe on Tuesday, one of the facilitators Pirira Ndaferankhande said though the objective is tackling men and boys mental health, the meeting is open to both men and women.
“The meeting brings together information which we hope will help to improve the lives of men and boys in regards to issues that affect them in a negative way.
“These include loss of loved ones, loss of employment or property and marital disputes. We have seen increased cases of suicide and alcohol abuse among men and boys in the country,” she said.
Ndaferankhande said topics to be covered include managing depression, men’s mental health and sex and sexuality, balancing masculinity and health, sex and power, handling loss of marriage, business, relationship and employment.
Dubbed In the Shoes of Men, the event is aimed at providing space for men to express themselves and find solutions to the problems they experience, according to Walker Gondwe, a professional counsellor.
“Unlike women who can share their problems and even cry out, men in Malawi keep their frustrations and problems bottled up inside. Because of culture, they believe crying or seeking help is a sign of weakness.
“So, when they seem not to find solutions, they resort to suicide and alcohol abuse. The event is meant to provide a platform that suicide is not the answer,” he said.
Gondwe said the meeting will also discuss issues of blackmail.
“Most men are victims of blackmail and to avoid being disgraced, they kill themselves. We want to reach out to men on how they can avoid being trapped by blackmailers,” he said.