Talk Like a Man: Communication and Connectedness for Men in the Middle Years

November 15, 2017

Please join MassMen on Wednesday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET for a free webinar that explores how the socialization and culture of men in their middle years (MIMY)* affects them when they face challenges with their mental, emotional, or relational well-being. The webinar -- designed for service providers of every kind who work with men in Massachusetts -- covers communicating effectively with and promoting connectedness among middle-age men.

According to a recent Boston Globe Magazine article, the greatest threat facing middle-age men is loneliness -- and  a key solution to that problem is connectedness. Meaningful connections with family, friends, community organizations, and social institutions are vital to every man’s well-being yet can be hindered by society’s view of masculinities (i.e., characterizations of various “types” of men from the perspective of the overall culture in which we live). The task, then, is to help men forge connections, not despite the culture but within it.

The webinar introduces counselors and other caregivers to ideas about communications that foster connectedness among men—both in the provider-client relationship and in men’s daily lives. Topics covered include:

  • How various traits associated with masculinity (independence, control, etc.) affect communications with men
  • Approaches to messaging that are most helpful in communicating with men
  • Ideas and principles related to connectedness that will inform your work with men

The workshop also covers tools on the MassMen website that are useful to men who are facing challenges in their life:

  • Free, anonymous online self-assessments
  • A searchable database of all kinds of resources throughout Massachusetts
  • Personal stories from men who have overcome challenges in their lives
  • Educational information on a variety of topics related to men’s mental, emotional, and relational health

Presenter: Franklin Cook, MA, CPC, is Director of Community Outreach for MassMen. He owns and operates Unified Community Solutions, a private consultancy in Watertown, MA, that worked with Screening for Mental Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to launch MassMen in 2015. Franklin began his career as a volunteer and has worked since 1999 at the community, state, and national levels in community-based suicide prevention program development, management, and leadership. He also specializes in peer support practices for bereavement care and for addiction recovery.

The webinar is sponsored by MassMen.org, a comprehensive resource for Massachusetts men and their loved ones, offering statewide mental health information, resources, and online self-assessments. MassMen is a program of Screening for Mental Health (SMH) and is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program. Project partners also include the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention and the 10 regional suicide prevention coalitions that serve the commonwealth.

* For background information about MassMen’s perspective on MIMY, please see Preventing Suicide Among Men in the Middle Years