As the country continues to observe International Men’s Day this week, President of the Single Fathers Association, Rhondall Feeles, is encouraging men to stop neglecting their physical health and mental wellness issues.
The SFATT president says men tend see themselves as invincible, hiding any signs of physical weakness, and keeping their mental troubles and issues locked deep inside, to their own detriment.
Rhondall Feeles says that one group of men who are continually being overlooked, are those men who lay their lives on the line for the country—whether in the police service or the military.
“For the last year, I think about four or five male police officers took their lives. One of them took his own life and his wife’s life, as well,” he points out. “We need to ask ourselves, why is this happening? In the TTDF, an officer took his life. Why are these men becoming depressed? Why are they taking their lives?” the SFATT president asks.
“These are men laying down their lives to protect us,” he says. “Are we really treating with their issues? One of them—a retired officer—went into a car, lit the car afire and exploded! People couldn’t understand it…”
And Rhondall Feeles is renewing his call for balance and equity in the distribution of social services for men and women, and boys and girls.
According to SFATT president, in the midst of celebrating the amazing achievements of women and girls, it is easy to forget that men and boys.
He states that men and boys also need to be reminded that they, too, are special and are capable of great things.
“Look at our boys. How are they performing academically?” he asks. “90 per cent of the time when you see scholarship winners or the top SEA student, they are female. We must ask ourselves why? Have we tipped the scales on the other side, and forgotten the other side of the scale?”
He adds: “I think we really need to bring balance. We need to help boys remember, as well, that they are important.”
The Single Fathers Association will be hosting its annual consultation on men's issues, in observance of International Men's Day, on Friday November 22nd from 2:30 pm, at the Ministry of Works car park in Chaguanas, opposite the Police Station.
Story by NEWS DESK