Recap: MENtal Health with Allan Kehler
In our most recent Meet the Author session, we invited Author Allan Kehler to discuss his book MENtal Health: It's Time to Talk with our health and safety professional community members.
Every month, members of the Safeopedia community come together for an online member's book club to discuss important workplace health and safety topics, share their insights and thoughts, and support each other.
In our most recent session, we invited our member and Author Allan Kehler to discuss his book MENtal Health: It's Time to Talk.
If you missed it, here's a recap of the session.
Meet the Author
Allan Kehler is a TEDx Speaker, Mental Heath Advocate, and the owner of Out From the Shadows
Allan's life mission is to share his story in the hope that it will shed a positive light on the journey of others. He speaks and writes about mental health in the hopes of empowering others to live
an authentic, passionate, and connected life.
Meet the Book
When it comes to mental health, too many men are suffering in silence. MENtal Health: It’s Time to Talk tells the true stories of prairie men – including Chris Beaudry, former assistant coach of the Humboldt Broncos – who have persevered through various mental health challenges. These men speak out in raw honesty because they understand that the conversation doesn’t start until someone starts talking.
Together, these stories put a voice to topics including masculinity, mental illness, addiction, sexual abuse, and suicide.
The Big Picture: Our Discussion Topics
Our session focused on toxic masculinity and why it has been allowed to trickle down through the generations.
Then we dove into ways that EHS professionals can use their influence to change the culture, perception, and approach to mental health within their organization.
Alan then left us with three key takeaways:
- Use your voice in times of need.
- Take the time to listen, not fix.
- When we know better, we can do better.
The Nitty Gritty: Contributions from Our Community Members
Meet the Author sessions are collaborative discussions. While our guest author and community co-host Gary Wong get the conversation going, our community members always share their insights, experiences, and perspectives.
Here are some of their contributions.
Peter shared a story that highlights the taboo men face when discussing mental health issues. On a golf trip, he told his friends that he had recently sought help. They were shocked and there was no discussion on the topic beyond that.
Abbey Adeogun told us about the difficulties he and his family faced after the loss of a child. Because there were so few places for men to give each other support, he set one up - a platform called Macho Men. There is a societal norm that men should be macho and not cry, no matter what they're going through. But men do cry, and Macho Men is a space where men can express their feelings openly.
When Edward Derah's parent died, family members came to him for emotional and financial support. Eventually, the pressure became too much and he needed to seek resources for men's mental health, but found them scarce. He stressed that this is an issue that needs more advocacy and needs to reach a greater audience.
Robert Manolson raised the concern that how we fight for men's mental health might inadvertently be holding us back. Men do talk about mental health - the people participating in this session proves that - and that needs to be emphasized. Instead of reinforcing the idea that men don't talk about mental health, we need to spread the message that men are talking about it. When that message takes hold, more men will feel comfortable opening up about their struggles and seeking help.
Watch the Session
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