The Men’s Story Project: Building Strength, Creating Peace

Jocelyn Lehrer, ScD

~  Founder/Director of the Men’s Story Project, Senior Research Associate at the University of California-San Francisco Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health and Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies.

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The Why...

The Men’s Story Project originated in 2008 to help community groups create live story-sharing events, educational films, and other mass media wherein men publicly examine social ideas about manhood through the lens of their own life experience. This came about due to our society’s focus on rigid ideas of what a man should be. They found in their research that rigid/dominant views about masculinity are linked in men with problems including homophobia, transphobia, rape-supportive attitudes, sexual and physical violence against women, violence against other men, bullying, behaviors that increase risk for HIV (e.g., condom non-use), higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, substance abuse, and risky driving”. What the Men’s Story Project does is create a forum for bringing men together to tell stories from their lives of what the male experience truly is – it allows a forum for diversity in norms. It allows for the idea of what it is to “be a man” or masculine to be a reflection of real life, shattering some of the rigid ideas if masculinity which force people into “one size fits all” boxes that clearly do not fit all. The Men’s Story Project cites that, “It is increasingly recognized in the public health and social justice fields that working to shift gender norms in support of healthy masculinities is a productive and needed approach to improving health and well-being for all people”.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • The origin of the Men’s Story Project.
  • The response to the productions.
  • How many events have taken place.
  • Growth of the project.
  • How a Men’s Story Project comes to life.
  • What the research shows as the benefits for those participating in the project and those attending the shows.
  • The workshops available through the Men’s Story Project.
  • What types of groups host Men’s Story Projects.
  • How someone can start a Men’s Story Project in their community.

Where to find The Men's Story Project

Website: MensStoryProject.org

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MensStoryProject
Email:     jlehrer@mensstoryproject.org
Phone:    (415) 217-9875

Videos from The Men's Story Project

Trailer for The Men's Story Project: Building Strength, Creating Peace (California, 2009) - Trailer for first MSP film, highlighting stories of 16 Bay Area presenters
"Man-to-Man Talk" Leroy Franklin Moore - Spoken word piece on intersections of being black, disabled, sexual and beautiful
“Finding the Gift in the Wound"- Aqeela Sherrills - A well-known activist speaks on topics including facilitating the 1992 Crips-Bloods truce in Watts, forgiving the man who murdered his son, and experiencing sexual abuse in childhood.
"Girls' Night OutSpoken word piece by Yosimar Reyes on being Mexican immigrant, gay, proud and fabulous.
"A Vegetarian No More" - On having witnessed domestic violence as a child and subsequently serving as defense attorney for Deborah Peagler, who was incarcerated for 27 years for contributing to the death of her abuser. Peagler's story is the subject of the award-winning documentary, Crime After Crime, acquired by the Oprah Winfrey Network.
"The Violence of Masculinity" Version 2 - Galen Peterson - On the journey of reflection and change after perpetration of violence against other men, his girlfriend and himself
"Menace to Society" - Fahamu Pecou. On feeling subject to and then rising beyond low societal expectations for black men (starts at 28:00; Emory University production)
"Leviticus" - Terry Taplin - Spoken word piece challenging homophobia in the black community
"Cousins are Cool"  - Mack Dennis - Spoken word piece from a former member of the Black Panthers on unlearning homophobia in adulthood "Propaganda" - L. Abdul Kenyatta - Challenging stereotypical notions of black masculinity (Featured in today's Podcast Episode)
Trailer for The Men’s Story Project: Out Loud! (Chile 2013) Trailer for Chilean MSP film, sponsored by Amnesty International
"The Truth Will Set Us Free" (subtitled) - A man from rural Chile discusses having become a celibate missionary so as to "heal himself" from being gay, and finally accepting himself, leaving his missionary post, and coming out to family
"Man Up -Drain the Main Vein"- A lighter piece on men's posturing and projections of toughness
"Masculinity in my Own Words" - A young man discusses telling his parents that he is gay and HIV-positive, and finding his own strength and path.

  


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Suicide Prevention is Necessary

 

Julie Goldstein Grumet, Phd

~ Director of Prevention and Practice at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center speaks about the many programs and resources available via SPRC.org
The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 (suicidepreventionlifeline.org)
The Veterans Crisis Line is also available 24/7  at     1-800-273-8255 Press 1 (veteranscrisisline.net)

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September is Suicide Prevention Month

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States – AND it is preventable. September is suicide prevention month.  The International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), collaborates with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Federation for Mental Health, to host World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10, 2015. ‘Preventing Suicide: Reaching Out and Saving Lives’ is the theme of the 2015 World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). This year’s theme is designed to encourage all of us to consider the role that offering support may play in combating suicide.

Suicide touched my own life in a profound way when my youngest brother, Scott, took his own life on July 1, 2007. I witnessed his struggle for many years. I talk more about this experience and how my family grieved in the accompanying episode of The Coaching Through Chaos Podcast, but for this post, I'm going to stick to facts that I want to share. As most of this information is cut and pasted from relevant sites dedicated to suicide prevention and research, credit is given accordingly.

Why do we Need Suicide Prevention Education & Resources?

General Statistics (as posted by save.org)
• Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
• The suicide rates decreased from 1990-2000 from 12.5 suicides per 100,000 to 10.4 per 100,000. Over the past decade, however, the rate has again increased to 12.1 per 100,000. Every day, approximately 105 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
• There is one death by suicide in the US every 13 minutes. (CDC)
• Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
• Suicide takes the lives of over 38,000 Americans every year. (CDC)
• Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
• 80% -90% of people that seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and/or medication. (TAPS study)
• An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
• There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
• There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC.org)

If you knew someone who was suicidal, or you work in a community where there were no active suicide prevention programs, would you know where to turn? Today’s episode features Julie Goldstein Grumet, Ph.D., who is the Director of Prevention and Practice at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC.org). The SPRC is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. They provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. They also promote collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.

Who does SPRC.org serve?

The SPRC website can be a reference guide for both Professionals in the community (teachers, care givers, therapists, first responders, etc.) and individuals (teens, parents, survivors of suicide, etc.). There is even state-specific information on programs and community resources. From their website they specifically serve:
• Suicide prevention grantees: Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grantees funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to support suicide prevention work in Campus, State, and Tribal communities.
• State suicide prevention coordinators and initiatives: individuals and groups in the state with the lead for statewide suicide prevention.
• College and university staff involved with suicide prevention efforts on campus.
• American Indian/ Alaska Native communities: Individuals working with native populations to support suicide prevention and mental health promotion.
• Health and behavioral health care providers who play a role in identifying and helping individuals at risk for suicide.
• Professionals providing social services in their community and organizations that can help reduce suicide rates among the populations they serve.
• Members of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, the public-private partnership dedicated to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

Risk Factors for Suicide (as posted by SuicidePreventionLifeline.org)

• Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and certain personality disorders
• Alcohol and other substance use disorders
• Hopelessness
• Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
• History of trauma or abuse
• Major physical illnesses
• Previous suicide attempt
• Family history of suicide
• Job or financial loss
• Loss of relationship
• Easy access to lethal means
• Local clusters of suicide
• Lack of social support and sense of isolation
• Stigma associated with asking for help
• Lack of health care, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
• Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
• Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and Internet)

The Suicide Prevention Lifeline and SPRC feature the following as Warning Signs of Suicide:

The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible by calling the Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

• Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves.
• Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online or buying a gun
• Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live.
• Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain.
• Talking about being a burden to others.
• Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
• Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly.
• Sleeping too little or too much.
• Withdrawing or isolating themselves.
• Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
• Displaying extreme mood swings.

What should everyone know?

- Suicide is preventable. Recent research is beginning to show a correlation between suicide prevention programs and decreases in suicides in those areas.
- Most people that are thinking about suicide absolutely feel hopeless and wish for feeling better, not necessarily to die. The wish to die often is born out of the despair and hopelessness.
- If someone verbalizes a suicidal thought, you should absolutely take it seriously. It’s imperative to share that thought with someone who can intervene and assess futher. You might feel uncomfortable about that, or your friend may ask you not to tell anyone, but jeopardizing your relationship is much wiser than pleasing them in that moment.
- Talking about suicide, or asking someone if they are suicidal will not cause them to become suicidal. There are some people that “just get depressed”. While that may hinder their life and their well-being, they don’t move into a suicidal state. On the other hand, there are other people who may not even present as outwardly depressed but have suicidal thoughts when problems develop in their life. If you are concerned about someone you know, ask them if they have suicidal thoughts. Whatever answer you get will be better than never having asked.

 

 
VeteransCrisisLineLogoNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Be part of the conversation - show your support on social media!

The people at Suicide Prevention Lifeline ask that when sharing about suicide prevention to use the following tags to support their campaign to raise awareness for suicide prevention: #BeThe1To (help someone else)

and for Veterans: #JoinThePowerof1

Resources

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255): You can call this number 24/7 to speak to someone about how you are feeling or to get help for yourself or someone you care about.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center - SPRC.org : The nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. They provide technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. They also promote collaboration among a variety of organizations that play a role in developing the field of suicide prevention.

SuicidePreventionLifeline.org: Not only can you call them at 1-800-TALK, but you can life chat with someone online, get information specific to helping young adults and veterans as well. They also provide resources on bullying, how to get help in your area and have other information you may need when feeling suicidal.  Their online resources are also provided in Spanish.

Save.org : The mission of SAVE is to prevent suicide through pubic awareness and education, reduce stigma and serve as a resource for those touched by suicide.

Zero Suicide Program - zerosuicide.sprc.org : This is an SPRC program designed and committed to preventing suicide in health and behavioral healthcare systems. The approach of Zero Suicide is based on the realization that suicidal individuals often fall through cracks in a fragmented, and sometimes distracted, health care system. To do this, Zero Suicide requires a system-wide approach to improve outcomes and close gaps in the systems for better preventative care.

The National Strategy for Suicide PreventionA Report of the U.S. Surgeon General and of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention

The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention - The public-private partnership advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention

 

 

 

Presidential Proclamation – World Suicide Prevention Day, 2015

afsp-suicide-facts-2015

 

VeteransCrisisLineLogo                                                                                     1-800-273-TALK

 

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 09, 2015


Presidential Proclamation -- World Suicide Prevention Day, 2015

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, 2015

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

All people deserve the opportunity to live healthy, rewarding lives. No American should have their potential limited, have their life cut short, or be deprived of their fullest measure of happiness because they do not have the mental health support they need. On World Suicide Prevention Day, we reaffirm our belief that mental health is an essential part of overall health, and together, we renew our commitment to supporting and empowering all Americans to seek the care they need.

Suicide is often related to serious depression, substance use disorders, and other mental health conditions. That is why recognizing severe psychological distress and ensuring access to the care and services needed to diagnose and treat mental illness are crucial to our efforts to prevent suicide. Individuals can also experience emotional and mental health crises in response to a wide range of situations -- from difficulties in personal relationships to the loss of a job to bullying at school. And for some of our Nation's veterans and military service members, these challenges are compounded by the invisible wounds of war. Tragically, these crises can sometimes involve thoughts of suicide -- and we must do more to support those suffering.

All Americans can take part in promoting mental well-being and preventing suicide. Everyone can contribute to a culture where individuals are supported and accepted for who they are -- no matter what they look like, who they love, or what challenges they face -- and where it is okay to ask for help. We can do more to recognize the signs of mental health issues early and encourage those in need to reach out for support. And we must remind our loved ones that seeking treatment is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. If you or someone you know is in need of help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers immediate assistance for all Americans at 1-800-273-TALK. Veterans, service members, and their loved ones can call this number to reach the Veterans Crisis Line, and they can also send a text message to 838255.

The Affordable Care Act extends mental health and substance use disorder benefits and parity protections to over 60 million Americans, helping men and women across our country access critical care. Protections under the health care law prohibit insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, like a diagnosis of mental illness, and require most insurance plans to cover recommended preventive services without copays, including behavioral assessments for children and depression screenings.

In February, I was proud to sign the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act to help fill serious gaps in serving veterans with post-traumatic stress and other illnesses. This law builds upon our ongoing efforts to end the tragedy of suicide among our troops and veterans. Last year, I announced 19 Executive actions to make it easier for service members and veterans to access the care they need when they need it, and our Government has focused additional resources on mental health services, including increasing the number of mental health providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

My Administration is also committed to doing all we can to empower those facing challenges and hardship. We are dedicated to combating bullying, harassment, and discrimination in our schools and communities. We are doing more to guarantee all veterans and members of our Armed Forces -- as well as their families -- get the help they deserve while they are serving our Nation, as they transition to civilian life, and long after they have returned home. And across the Federal Government, we are working to ensure all Americans are supported in times of crisis.

Suicide prevention is the responsibility of all people. One small act -- the decision to reach out to your neighbor, offer support to a friend, or encourage a veteran in need to seek help -- can make a difference. It can help energize a national conversation and a changing attitude across America. If you are hurting, know this: You are not forgotten. You are never alone. Your country is here for you, and help is available. As we pause to raise awareness of the importance of suicide prevention, let us remember all those we have lost and the loved ones they left behind. As one people, we stand with all who struggle with mental illness, and we continue our work to prevent this heartbreak in our communities.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 10, 2015, as World Suicide Prevention Day. I call upon citizens, government agencies, organizations, health care providers, and research institutions to raise awareness of the mental health resources and support services available in their communities and encourage all those in need to seek the care and treatment necessary for a long and healthy life.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA

# # #

source:
www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/09/presidential-proclamation-world-suicide-prevention-day-2015

 

Special CoachingThroughChaos podcast

Next week’s podcast (2015/09/15) features Dr. Julie Goldstein Grumet, Director of Prevention and Practice at the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. Established in 2002, SPRC.org is the nation’s only federally supported resource center devoted to enhancing the national strategy for suicide prevention.

National Suicide Prevention Month Podcast

 

VeteransCrisisLineLogo                   1-800-273-TALK

ADA 25th Anniversary

ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Throughout the year and on the ADA Anniversary, the ADA National Network participates in celebrating this landmark event as a way of bringing attention to the important work that has been done to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities and to highlight the work that is yet to be done.

Census.gov reports that about 56.7 million people — 19 percent of the population — had a disability in 2010, according to a broad definition of disability, with more than half of them reporting the disability was severe, according to a comprehensive report on this population released in 2012 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

A CDC study, drawn from 2013 data, says 53 million Americans have a disability. The researchers of this study defined a disability as a self-reported difficulty in one or more of five areas: vision, cognition, mobility, self-care or independent living.
src: Prevalence of Disability and Disability Type Among Adults — United States, 2013
     CDC MMWR July 31, 2015 / 64(29);

Map showing prevalence of disability in USA adults (2013)

Human Instruments

Episode #9
Vahakn Matossian introduces Human Instruments and their technology that breathes new life into creativity and expression for disabled musicians..

Vahakn Matossian Human Instruments Podcast

 

Happy Auntie’s Day

Happy Auntie's Day

This week’s podcast episode has been released a couple of days early to coincide with Auntie’s Day 2015.
The podcast features Melanie Notkin, author of Otherhood and Savvy Auntie and the founder of Auntie’s Day.
The special edition episode cover, embedded in the mp3 file and shown above, also serves as our e-card to wish you

Happy Auntie’s Day 2015 to all the PANKS out there !

 

You can find the companion article for this podcast in our previous post: Otherhood with Melanie Notkin

Please feel free to share via the social sharing buttons above or, if you would like to include a link to this podcast with the special edition podcast cover,  you can use the following html code in your blog or webpage …

FULL SIZE ( as above, 800×800 pixels)

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