Meeting men’s mental health needs

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Meeting men’s mental health needs
Pictured are Stephen Douris and Ivan Labelle (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a mental strain on nearly everyone. It has exacerbated feelings of stress and isolation. Mencan feel as though they are struggling alone, when it comes to their mental health.

There is a group in Cornwall dedicated to help men break their isolation and deal with their issues in a confidential, supportive, and non-judgemental way.

The group often has weekly themes, such as what it means to express love or to receive love. It is a space where men can share their insights, personal experiences, and listen and learn from each other.

The Men’s Mental Health Group has met weekly, while their sessions have sometimes been virtual due to the pandemic, they have also met in person. The group has been around for two-and-a-half years.

Ivan Labelle of the Centre de santé Communautaire de l’Estrie and men’s mental health advocate Stephen Douris have been acting as facilitators for the group and feel that the participants have found strength in each other.

“One of the things we found is that no matter what you’ve brought to the table, someone has already been through it,” Douris said.

In this way, the men who meet help each other through difficult times.

Labelle remarked that over the past two and a half years, around 50 different men have participated in the group, with some being there since the beginning, some leaving and later returning.

On average, they have about 10 men who regularly participate.

Whether their issues be related to their relationships with others, past trauma, or struggles with mental illness, the Men’s Mental Health Group allows their members to talk about their problems in a private way and receive support.

“I feel that the group has helped connect people to different services in the community and to each other,” said Labelle. “It is in a casual format that men seem to appreciate.

To participated in the Men’s Mental Health Group, please contact Ivan Labelle at

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