Equality means equality for everyone.
McGill University Professor of Psychiatry and CAFE Advisory fellow Robert Whitley is sounding the alarm on the men’s health crises on Canadian University and College campuses. He has issued an Open Letter calling on student governments and campus administrations to support the emergence of men’s issues awareness societies and men’s health support groups across Canada.
If you’re a faculty member at a Canadian post-secondary institution please contact us to register your support for this Open Letter. The letter can be downloaded at this link.
SUPPORT MEN’S ISSUES AND MEN’S HEALTH GROUPS AT YOUR CAMPUS
An Open Letter to University and College Administrations and Student Governments
04 December 2016
To whom it may concern
Men and women experience health, social and educational issues in different proportions.
For example, women have higher rates of depression, anxiety, eating disorders and are underrepresented in STEM disciplines in higher education.
In contrast, men have higher rates of suicide, substance abuse, and high-school drop-out. Men also make up only 40% of recent graduates at Canadian universities.
There are numerous groups on campuses across Canada that are addressing women’s issues and advocating for the progress of women. These are rarely seen as controversial and receive official support from various quarters.
However there are very few groups focused on men’s issues and the advancement of men’s health. In fact, incipient men’s issues groups have been refused accreditation by student unions, and some have even been protested with violence.
This is concerning as research shows that silence is detrimental to men’s health, and has been linked to suicide and substance abuse in men. Men’s issues and men’s health groups provide a positive space for the discussion of issues such as suicide, substance abuse, high-school drop-out, homelessness and incarceration; all issues that disproportionately affect men. Discussion can lead to action, which can lead to healthier men, healthier families, and a healthier society.
As such, we, the undersigned, support the creation and formation of men’s issues and men’s health groups on university campuses across Canada. We urge student unions and university administrations to support such groups, given that they aim to discuss and address the above serious societal issues along with many others with a focus on boys and men that are currently under-recognized.
Dr Rob Whitley
Dept of Psychiatry