McMaster University offers a course named Health Studies 3BB3, it was through this course we had the opportunity to work with the Student Wellness Centre’s Education Team. Specifically, we focused on healthy masculinity and the need for a men’s wellness group at McMaster. Masculinity is a multi-dimensional intersectional determinant that interacts with the social determinants of health affecting men’s wellness. We used our placement to engage with male students through education, promotion, and informational interviews, which will ultimately be used to inform future McMaster programming surrounding men’s wellness. The programming will aim to build a safe and positive space to support healthy masculinity and the practice of self-care.
Throughout our engagements with male undergraduate students, we built a consistent theme of leadership, importance of open discussion, and the benefits associated with being your true self. Promoting a deeper understanding of these themes contributes to a larger advocacy effort for healthy masculinity, and the creation of more significant supports for men on campus. Through our placement, we learned that healthy masculinity entails advocating for healthy leadership, open discussions, and the importance of programs. We also learned about the benefits of encouraging men to reach out for help, and the positive impact that a men’s wellness group will have on the McMaster community.