Let’s talk about our relationships and mental health!
Gathered on the Unceded Homelands of the W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples.
November 23, 2023
6:00pm to 8:00pm
David Strong Building C103
Food and refreshments!
Meet your moderator: Carol Bilson Ph.D.(c),
Director of the Anti-Violence Project, She/Her/Ella
- ACCOUNTABILITY – presented by Geo McLean
- ASKING FOR HELP – presented by Carl Haynes
- MENTAL HEALTH – presented by Marco Sciascia
- SEXUALITY & EMBODIMEBNT – presented by Liam Snowdon
- COPING – presented by Noah Stewart
- BELONGING – presented by Billy Yu
About our panelists
Carl Haynes: Having navigated depression and anxiety for over a decade I understand the importance of asking for a hand when we need one and being able to accept one when it is offered. On this panel I will be discussing asking for help and getting in touch with your needs. As men, when we are taught not to ask for help, we are taught to disconnect from ourselves and others. We are taught that the voice in our head or feeling in our guy to ask for support should be suppressed. We are taught to suppress our emotions. Suppress the natural reaction of our nervous system as it looks for support and community. This rips men away from their emotions and from the bonds of community and comradery that come with support friends, family, and community. This suppression of emotions and not asking for help hurts us as individuals and as a collective.
Geo McLean: who uses he/him, and they/them pronouns is a Masters of Social Work student at UVic. He is interested in feminism, men’s well-being, and sexual health. Geo currently works as a Mental Health Outreach Worker with Vancouver Coastal Health, and has worked in foster care, shelter, peer support, research, and sexual health contexts. As their undergraduate thesis, they explored “How do we reinvent masculinity?” by designing and implementing a community-based discussion group. This group emphasized social-emotional vulnerability and developing accountability within a community of care.
Marco Sciascia: Having graduated from his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology undergrad at the University of Victoria, Marco began working with the diverse Victoria community, first in a transitional housing setting, before running a live-in drug and alcohol recovery program in downtown Victoria for a couple of years. Marco found the experience invaluable, and it amplified his pre-existing interest and passion for work centering around trauma. Marco then came aboard the MTC team to be able to provide assistance to victims of traumatic experiences and help them to navigate the consequent impact on their lives in the way that works best for them. Marco appreciates working with men in all parts of their journey and has done work facilitating courses for men who have perpetrated domestic violence. All the mentioned experience has demonstrated to Marco how difficult it can be for men to ask for help, especially when they have experienced institutionalization and marginalization in the past. It has also made clear to him that the single greatest indicator of future issues with mental health and addiction is previous trauma (especially in childhood) and providing support in a proactive and not reactive manner is paramount.
Liam Snowdon: Dr. liam ‘captain’ snowdon lives uninvited on the territory of the Songhees Nation. Their background is in street outreach, harm reduction, social justice, sexualized and gender-based violence, counselling, somatic sex education and poetry with youth and adults. They have a doctorate in Human Sexuality. Currently they run a school that trainings Somatic Sex Educators to work with pleasure, trauma, power and privilege through body-based practices and touch. They also have just published a workbook on end-of-life planning in community for Queers. Working and playing with masculinity is important to them to unpack what we have learned that masculinity means and expects, learn voice and choice around our gender expressions and build a culture of joyful accountability.
Noah Stewart: Noah identifies as a queer white settler man currently living on unceded and occupied WSANEC territories. His current work mostly involves mental health & crisis support, facilitation, and suicide education. He holds a degree in Gender Studies and Anthropology from UVic and has been volunteering with AVP/the Men’s Circle as a co-facilitator for several years. Likes include Empathy, social justice, and kittens. Dislikes include Patriarchy, capitalism, orange gatorade.”
Billy Yu: Billy is a co-coordinator of the men’s circle. he has been volunteering with the anti-violence project for several years, aiming to have conversations with men and masc folks about gender, violence prevention, and how we can all stop the patriarchy. billy enjoys pineapple on pizza, naps, and being a parent. billy is a mix-raced settler on lək̓ʷəŋən People, the traditional keepers of this land.