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Men’s Mental Health Should Be considered To Reduce Societal Vices – Halima Layeni

Halima Layeni, the founding director of Life After Abuse Foundation, an NGO, says deliberate attention to men’s mental health will help curb societal vices.

The director was speaking on Friday about the need to provide a “safe place” for men as part of the NGO’s “Men Can End Violence” campaign.

The occasion of her speech was a mental health event that was held in Lagos to mark International Youth Day.

Layeni stated that most men who caused violence have been victims of abuse themselves.

The director stated that men and boys should be given the opportunity to express their feelings, trauma and anger so that societal violence will be curbed.

“We have come to realise that most of the social vices faced in the country like sexual abuse, kidnapping, gun violence, terrorism, cultism, and gender-based violence can easily be eradicated,” she said.

All of these can be achieved if we pay attention to the mental state of the men

“We find out that most of these vices are being perpetrators mostly by men because they have lots of things going on in their mind which they can’t express”

Layeni implored men and boys to “reach out and speak out” when they are in pain in order to create “healthy masculinity.”

“To create masculinity, there must be a paradigm shift,” she added.

“So if you have been told you cannot cry, I’m making you understand now that men can cry. Crying means you’re human. Even medically, it’s right to let your emotions, it makes you feel better.

“Men can seek help, I know there isn’t much help for men currently. There are no systems and structures but I believe if you have a good circle, there are people you can talk to, talk to your friends don’t die in silence.

“Let’s encourage the culture of speaking out and reaching out, break the silence culture. When you feel like talking, don’t be ashamed; journal and use your social media.”

Men Can End Violence is a movement aimed at reducing the rate of male perpetrators of violence against women.

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