Did you know that newcomer men have less specialized supports and services? Despite male immigrants and refugees making up more than half of the newcomer population, there are less supports for their unique needs and challenges. This could be because traditionally, female newcomers are seen as more vulnerable. It could also be because males are less likely to seek support. For example, when it comes to mental health services, men are less likely than their female counterparts to access them due to stigma (Migration Matters).
It’s a good thing that agencies and Settlement Provider Organizations in Manitoba have recognized the need for more services and resources designed specifically for men. Here are some of them:
These programs offer a safe environment for men to share their experiences and receive support from peers or more specialized help from mental health experts.
- Aurora Family Therapy – Support group for men/ Men’s Healthy Living/Anger Management program.
- Family Dynamics – Anger Management for Men Program.
- The Men’s Resource Centre of Manitoba – Therapy and support services for men aged 16 and up who have experienced trauma.
- Rainbow Resource Centre – Provides counselling, education and programming for LGBT2SQ+ and their families, friends and employers. It hosts the New Pride of Winnipeg support group which welcomes immigrants and those with refugee experience who identify as LGBTQ.
- Thrive Community Support Circle – Its Wellness & Health Action for Men (WHAM) provides a support group that addresses life issues in a supporting environment.
Help and protection against domestic violence
Men can also be victims of domestic abuse in a heterosexual or same sex relationship. They may be less willing to report it or get help for fear that they will be seen as weak or because they are embarrassed and afraid that they won’t be believed.
Domestic violence are physical acts such as hitting, biting, destroying your possessions or threatening to harm your children or pets. It can also be emotional or verbal abuse. For example, their spouse or partner:
- belittles or humiliates them in front or friends, colleagues or family (even on social media)
- is possessive, acts jealous and accuses them of being unfaithful
- controls where they go and who they see
- controls their money and does not contribute to joint financial obligations
- manipulates or blackmails them
- threatens to leave or prevents them from seeing their kids they report the abuse
The first step to stopping the cycle of abuse is to admit the problem. Victims should reach out and talk to a friend, family member or someone they trust. In Manitoba, they can call the 24-hour domestic violence crisis/information line for confidential help: Family Violence Protection Program.
Here is a directory of services for men across Manitoba from Ending Violence Across Manitoba Inc.
Tools for better parenting for fathers
Here are programs and resources that provide training and information to enable fathers to have a more active role in raising their children:
- Aurora Family Therapy – Parenting Programs
- Family Dynamics – Better Fathering Program
- Nobody’s Perfect Program/ Mosaic Newcomer Family Resource Network
Videos and tip sheets for new fathers (from Dad Central Manitoba):
- 24 hr Cribside Assistance (Dad Central.ca) – a website for dads by dads
- Cues and clues development tip sheets
- My Dad Matters fact sheets
- Programs, Supports and Strategies Manitoba Parent Zone
The following programs provide expert assistance to help couples/families get through communication issues, parenting, grief, family stress, trauma and mental illness, separation and divorce and other family issues:
- Couples Counselling Project, University of Manitoba
- Aurora Family Therapy Centre – Relationship Therapy or Family Therapy
- Family Dynamics – Strive Program (Group therapy)
There may be other specialized community programs for men in specific areas. Men needing specific services should contact their Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker (NSIW) for more information.
Sources: Newcomer men: Unique challenges and considerations, Migration Matters, AMSSA and Help for men who are being abused, Help Guide. Accessed December 30, 2019.
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