Let’s talk about it

WES CARTER has been helping men improve their mental health and wellbeing for almost four decades.

In 1992 he founded the MensWork project, running workshops and personal development retreats.

Mr Carter says there are two kinds of men he helps: those who have experienced trauma in their lives and those on a journey of self-exploration.

He recalls how his marriage broke down, forcing him to look at his own “personal process” and kickstarting his journey to help others.

Mr Carter worked as a senior manager for 40 years in the automotive engineering sector, and noticed that many of the men he worked with had relationship issues.

Speaking about his approach to helping others, Mr Carter cites Iron John by American poet Robert Bly as a major influence.

The book is an exegesis of Iron John, a parable about a boy maturing into adulthood with help of a wild man.

“Men need to be willing and courageous in finding out more about how they function rather than taking everything for granted”.

The health and wellbeing of men is built upon their understanding of who they really are, Mr Carter adds.

He says they need to recognise the impact of their relationship with their father, as well any time they spent “rejecting anything which is sissy and soft”.

The workshops let men share their experiences in a safe and confidential environment.

Mr Carter hopes men will learn how to “nurture themselves” and see the positive ripple effects in their lives.

He is holding a men and relationships workshop at the Glyde-In Community Learning Centre, East Fremantle next Saturday (September 7).

by ALEX MURFETT

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