Young men matter conference

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Young men matter conference

“You are one of a kind and you matter” was the prominent message delivered to over 70 year 10 male students from various schools in the southern area, who attended the recent ‘Young Men Matter Conference’ delivered by the Southern Area Men’s Health Steering Group at the Lough Neagh Discovery Centre.

The steering group is a partnership of practitioners and representatives of services and organisations across the Southern Trust area, with a remit and commitment to improving the health of men in the local area.

The group was established in 2012 with the purpose to support the development of new approaches to engage with and inform boys and men about health issues, provide a forum for sharing information on local initiatives and identify local need thereby improving the health and wellbeing of boys and men.

Getting away from the classroom for the day gave these male students an opportunity to find out about the importance of looking after their mental health and wellbeing. Through engaging workshops and open and honest discussions led by inspirational figures, the students were also given practical tips and tools to support their journey in adulthood, such as making better social connections with family and friends, developing healthy hobbies, embracing the power of exercise and signposting to local support services.

ABC Council’s Health Inequalities Team within the Community Development Department, lead on Men’s Health in the Southern Area. The event was funded by the Public Health Agency and Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

Many thanks to the team involved in delivering the workshops – ‘Engaging Young Men’ and ‘Child Sexual Exploitation’, facilitated by Youth Action NI and ‘Healthy Body and Mind’, facilitated by Tommy Stevenson, ABC Council.