“One thing not effectively addressed is men’s health,” begins Eddy Betinol, physiotherapist and owner of The Joint Physiotherapy + Sports Injury Centre in Courtenay and Campbell River. Along with other local business owners who feel strongly about the issue, The Joint is putting on a series of four November workshops titled ‘Edgy Education for Movember: An Evening for the Brothers and Sisters.’
Movember was originally focused on prostate awareness, notes Betinol. But there is now a definite shift and, interestingly, the focus is now on mental health. “There’s reason for that,” he says. “Because a statistics that pops out is the highest demographic of suicide is men between the ages of 40 to 60.”
When people commit suicide it can mean they are unable to cope. “So one of the things we want to address,” says Betinol, “is men are often unable to access, as part of their socialization, good information about men’s health in general. Sexual and mental health issues specifically are often taboo topics men can feel uncomfortable being open and honest about. We want to address some of these topics.”
A large source of trauma for men is divorce. That often mirrors the 40-60 age range, a time that can involve many changes in life. Changes can involve sexual potency, job change, layoffs, onset of certain diseases, divorce or, sometimes, discovering their own sexuality. “One little known fact,” says Betinol, “Is most divorces (up to 80%) are initiated by women. More importantly, while often a financial load is associated for women with divorce, the crazy part is that it’s actually more deadly for men as their risk of suicide goes up 40%.”
“We feel it important for both sides to understand what’s happening,” says Betinol, so the events are inclusive of all genders. The first two topics are sexuality-based. A reason for this is it being an important link in relationships.
“And yet,” says Betinol, “For many individuals much of their adult understandings about sexual behavior or sexuality are formed from their initial teenage years.”
The first event is in partnership with Gladstone’s where Dr. Tracy Rogers will present The Vagina Manalogues: Understanding the Vagina Over Time. “She’ll give men an understanding of the influences of hormonal changes and how they can affect women and expectations,” says Betinol.
The second event is Kitty Pitt at Wayward Distillery. Kitty is a dynamic individual, a comedienne and married lesbian. Her topic is “How to Make Love Like a Lesbian: The Secrets to non-Penetrative and non-Orgasm Focused Sex.”
Other sponsors are Bayside Cafe and Mountain City Cycles.
Events start at 6 pm and end at 8 pm with time to discuss. Cost is $25/person and includes food and two beverages. For information go to Movember’s Edgy Education or The Joint’s Facebook pages, or call The Joint at 250.331.1200.