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Announcing “Men Of Courage” – A Community Conference Regarding Men’s Well-Being

Ottawa, March 20, 2013 – The first-ever community conference on the well-being of men and their families was formally announced today by The Men’s Project (TMP), an Ottawa-based treatment centre for men and their families since 1997.

The conference will be held on March 23/24 at the Taggart Family YMCA-YWCA , the main co-sponsor of the event.

Men of Courage is a community conference focusing on issues of men’s mental health, well-being, and recovery. All men are welcome, as well as their partners, friends and family members. Keynote speakers, dedicated workshops, films and discussion are all included, as well as a dedicated 4-part series of psycho-educational sessions for men who are survivors of childhood sexual and/or physical abuse and want to begin their recovery process.

It’s the first event of its kind in Ottawa. “We want to engage the broader community of men and their families in a meaningful way in terms of what steps they can take to live a good life” said Rick Goodwin, TMP Executive Director. “Too often, men get excluded in community events, or are seen as a problem that needs addressing.”

Keynote speakers include Frank O’Dea, founder of Second Cup, and Art Lockhart, a restorative justice expert and activist from Toronto. The acclaimed documentary “Boys and Men Healing” will be shown as well.

Fourteen workshops will be offered, ranging in issues that include fathering, emotional integrity, getting beyond anger, and addiction issues. There are also dedicated workshops for New Canadian men, gay men, for partners of men who have been sexually abused as children.

What makes this conference more notable is that all of the presenters and workshop leaders are all volunteering their time to make it happen.

“We have had wonderful buy-in from the professional service community, other mental health agencies, and community stores and services to make this happen. The event, which was not funded, is seen as a model for engaging men in other communities across Canada.

Ticket prices are $50 for the weekend, and the agency is offering free seats as “scholarships” for low income men.

“We can’t just rely upon men to call up agencies like ours for help. In many ways, we need to go to where they work, live or take part in the community. The Y is an excellent place for this conference to occur” said Goodwin. TMP has taken recent steps to engage men at the Detention Centre, as well as striking a partnership with the Ottawa Mission to serve homeless men.

Men of Courage is offered in conjunction with the launch of the newest initiative of TMP called “1in6 Canada: The Nation’s Knowledge Centre on Sexual Trauma and Recovery.” The centre’s goal is to provide public education, training, counselling service direction, research and other resources to Canadians and agencies coast-to-coast. The name was chosen because research has shown that one in six males will be sexually victimized by the age of 18. 1in6 Canada will formally launch at the media conference planned for March 22nd at 10:00 a.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 150 Albert, Ottawa.

TMP has received many awards for service excellence over the years, including the inaugural Ontario Attorney General’s Award of Distinction. Other awards include those from the Canadian Mental Health Association, Crime Prevention Ottawa and the United Way. It was also seen as a “Promising Practice” by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. TMP has been funded for 14 years by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General.

SOURCE: The Men’s Project

For further information:


Rick Goodwin, Executive Director

Telephone:  613-230-6179, extension 400
Cell phone: 613-277-7021