GuysWork to return to Eskasoni First Nation high school this fall

GuysWork, a boys wellness program first launched in Nova Scotia in 2012, will be returning to Allison Bernard Memorial High School in Eskasoni First Nation this fall. The program brings together male facilitators with boys to talk about issues such as health care, mental health resources, intimate partner violence, and healthy relationships. “It was like there was a shell that was removed and they were more vulnerable and they were more at peace and they could put themselves in your perspective,” said school principal Newell Johnson of the students who participated. “For the guys, I guess there’s not really a space for them to be able to talk freely about some of the things and some of the issues that they deal with.” GuysWork founder Morris Green stated that the program was started to address the issue that boys were not accessing health centres at the same rate as girls, despite having poorer health outcomes in a number of areas. “Then if you look at some specific groups of men under the umbrella of male identified, you have Indigenous and Black men who have even worse outcomes,” said Green. Johnson explained that she is working to have more in-house staff trained to facilitate the program.