Paul Stewart and Stacy Gernetzky offer support for men suffering from a personal drama as part of a Hope Link support group, Insight Men’s Circle.
Paul Stewart and Stacy Gernetzky offer support for men suffering from a personal drama as part of a Hope Link support group, Insight Men’s Circle. Brenda Strong

Men opening up to support group

MEN struggling through a family or relationship crisis are usually reluctant to seek help.

But Paul Stewart and Stacy Gernetzky have seen a positive change in the men who come forward to their support group to speak of their issues.

The duo is part of a men's support group, Insight Men's Circle.

It deals with men who are struggling through conflict at work or home, affecting their mental health.

They say if men do not seek help, consequences can be life threatening.

"When men lose contact with their kids, the chances of committing suicide is multiplied by eight," Mr Stewart said.

"On at least a dozen occasions, men who have come in here were on the brink of killing themselves."

Mr Stewart said one of the common issues was men questioning their role in life, where they fit in.

Many look to alcohol and drugs to cope. Depression can follow, and sometimes suicide.

"They leave scars on the lives of their partners, children and the community."

Ms Gernetzky said women tended to be quicker to open up when dealing with difficult situations.

"A lot of men work on the belief they should be able to handle it all and are reluctant to ask for help.

"So you know that when a man asks for help, he really does need it."

They were both in agreement that no one person has to struggle alone.

Although Insight is not a statewide initiative, they both suggested the Dads in Distress Support group to people needing help.

"You just have to be willing to look for help," they said.


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