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XCEPT Briefing Note – Men and Psychosocial Support Services Programming

XCEPT Briefing Note – Men and Psychosocial Support Services Programming
28th July 2023 ICSR Team
In Features, XCEPT

XCEPT Briefing Note – Men and Psychosocial Support Services Programming

Dr Heidi Riley

This Briefing Note explores humanitarian responses to conflict-related trauma amongst men and boys, and finds that addressing male trauma supports individual and community well-being, as well as helping to prevent further violence.

Cropped shot of female psychologist listening to male patient and making notes in document on clipboard

Credit: Shutterstock/AT Production.

Key Findings:

  • Psychosocial support for men and boys is deprioritised in social services.
  • Funding for programmes aimed at men and boys is difficult to secure and currently runs the risk of redirecting funds away from much-needed services for women and girls.
  • There is a clear need to increase the visibility of male trauma and its implications through policymaking and research.
  • Innovative programming allows for mainstreaming of PSS interventions into broader livelihood programmes and context-specific services.
  • Participants report a reduction in community and domestic violence.
  • Applying a masculinity lens to PSS delivery is critical to uptake and impact.
    • Using mental health terminology risks deterring participation. Instead, labelling sessions with more neutral terminology, such as ‘group workshop’ or ‘training session’, can help avoid stigma.
    • Group workshops are important to avoid stigma and create a space for men to share narratives and ‘vent’. However, for LGBT men or men who have suffered sexual violence, individual counselling may be more appropriate.
    • Organisations noted the importance of male facilitators in all-male group workshops.
    • Appropriate scheduling is crucial in a context where men are seen as the main breadwinners and have employment commitments.
  • Engaging with moral injury-induced trauma can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
  • Local legitimacy in programme design is vital to ensure effective engagement.

The full Briefing Note can be accessed here.

This publication was produced as part of the XCEPT programme, a programme funded by UK Aid from the UK government. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

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