Stress management workshop targets Region Six men

Stabroek News
August 3, 2001

The Regional AIDS Committee of Regions Five and Six in collaboration with UNICEF conducted a two-day workshop at the Parkway International Hotel on stress management, last weekend, where men, the target group, were helped in finding ways of coping with stress in their everyday lives.

Research on the topic done in Guyana by the Regional AIDS Committee (2000), Danns (2001) and Henry (2001) points to the inability of men to cope with stress.

The inability to appropriately deal with important issues - emotional, relationships, communication and finance among others have added to the stress in men's lives, researchers found. It was revealed that most men, due to the patrifocal nature and patriarchal structure of the society, still find it difficult to use non-aggressive mechanisms in their interactions and it is felt that deliberate efforts should target them to address this issue. The programme attracted men of various professions from the East Canje and New Amsterdam areas.

Facilitators drawn from the University of Guyana were Dr Michael Scott, head of the Graduate School, Social Science; Barbara Thomas, coordinator, Social Work Unit; Paulette Henry, resident tutor, Institute of Distance and Continuing Education, New Amsterdam. Topics addressed included: 'What About Dad?' 'Men Coping with Stress in a Changing Society', 'Manhood: what it means', 'Understanding and Managing Stress', 'Strategies for Expressing Feelings', 'Effective Communication and Relationships', and 'Man talk-Woman talk', along with activities such as demonstration of manhood and diagrammatic expressions of feelings Prior to receiving their certificates of participation, the men were encouraged by Dr Scott, to share the skills learnt so as to make a difference with men in their communities where many are lost to drugs, suicide, and prison. "Some men are at the cutting edge, with your knowledge you can make a change. Take your responsibilities seriously," the sociologist urged them.