Research (see the Did You Know section on the website), shows that males are just as likely as females to encounter challenges to their psychological wellbeing they currently do not tend to access support services to the same extent.
There are many potential reasons why this might be the case including:
- Males are often exposed to unhelpful or inhibiting societal and/or cultural narratives (stories and scripts), on masculinity that cause them to think and feel that they should not connect with their psychological wellbeing issues or that they should try to deal with them alone for fear of being perceived as weak or in some way less of a male if they admit a to a difficulty or seek help.
- Males have not been empowered to attune to their emotional self and develop the vocabulary and skills to become emotionally articulate in terms of recognising their emotional needs and feeling confident to speak out to have them addressed.
MANN uP believes that everyone (dis-regardless of what sex, gender identity, sexuality, race, religion, nationality or age they are or background they come from), should have the right and ability to be able to access services and support to resolve issues that may be challenging their mental and emotional health and be empowered to unlock their potential in these areas and beyond.
MANN uP has been founded to contribute to addressing the disparity in terms of males accessing psychological wellbeing services and to help promote a wider concept among males of advancing wellbeing in all aspects of their lives.
By attempting to develop and promote a form of male-affirmative practice, MANN uP intends to support others to become mindfit and to help provide the knowledge, guidance and support that will equip males to self-define and advance.
Through working with male clients, MANN uP has the ambition to develop a wisdom on what works for them that could also help inform and shape future delivery of wellbeing services among this segment of the population.
Can only males access MANN uP services?
Anyone can access MANN uP services should they wish to do so. One of MANN uP’s core values is that of equality and females are very welcome to engage with MANN uP services should they wish to do so. MANN uP services are there for all who want to access them.
Are services confidential?
In general MANN uP services are confidential, the level of confidentially will be dependent on whether and individual is engaging in a personal or collective advancement service and there are certain cases when confidentially may have to be breached (usually for the benefit of the client).
When you commence with a MANN uP service you will collaborate in the drawing up of a confidentiality agreement surrounding your engagement with that service.
Usually the agreement will be that all areas discussed will remain within the context of the one-to-one session or collective workshop setting.
MANN uP will never breach your right to confidentiality unless you give them express permission (in writing), to share part or all of what has been spoken about with another party.
There are certain occasions when confidentiality might have to be breached to protect you and prevent you or another from coming to harm or if MANN uP would be compelled to do by means of a legal or statutory duty or court order.
Should such an occasion arise, every attempt will be made to discuss this with you in detail and mutually agree away forward before any action is taken to breach confidentiality (details of such potential occasions can be discussed in more detail when you collaborate on drawing up your confidentiality agreement). However please note it may still be necessary to protect you or others to take action without your consent.
Can children and young people under the age of 18 access MANN uP services?
Potentially they can but there will by necessity in order to safeguard the wellbeing of a child or young person to take a slightly different approach in terms of accessing the service and confidentiality than with an adult.
According to The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a 'child' is defined as someone under the age of 18 years.
Any person under the age of 18 wishing to access a MANN uP service will normally need to have the express consent of their parent/legal guardian to do so (this will need to be confirmed in writing).
When drawing up a confidentiality agreement, that parent/legal guardian will then be involved in the process.
As with adults, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed on occasions when there is a risk of harm to the client or another, or a risk of the child or young person being harmed by another.
The period of negotiating the confidentiality agreement allows for that discussion to take place that will balance the benefits of privacy, the safety of the child or young person and the rights of the parent/legal guardian.
Please note for children aged 16-18 there might be occasion to proceed without seeking this consent from a parent/legal guardian to 'treatment' but this would need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Can I book someone else in to access MANN uP services?
It is entirely understandable that if you are concerned about the wellbeing of another that you would want to take action to help them advance. However, part of what will contribute to the success of a personal advancement programme or collective workshop will be both the willingness and readiness of the participant to engage with the process. Every individual also has the right to autonomy over their own wellbeing.
For those reasons, MANN uP would not normally work with an individual who has been referred by another, and encourages self-referral (to promote a sense of autonomy and empowerment right from the start).
If you feel someone you know would benefit from accessing a MANN uP service, why not encourage them to get to know more about the work of MANN uP and if they agree, you can accompany them for the first session or two.
What types of issues do people access MANN uP services to deal with?
The list of reasons why an individual may wish to access a MANN uP service is exhaustive. Some may want support with a past, current or future life landmark issue. Others identify an aspect or aspects of their mental and/or emotional wellbeing they would like to work on and advance. Or it may be that there no particular issue they want to focus on but that they would like to proactively invest in building their levels of mental and emotional strength, stamina and resilience to develop their midfitness.
Some examples of the types of things you may choose to work on can include:
- Generalised feelings of unhappiness or unease.
- Relationship health issues (including: family, social, romantic and sexual relationship issues).
- Work health issues (including: workplace stress, workplace bullying, career stagnation, career change).
- Issues connected to sexuality, sexual identity or sexual functioning.
- Physical health issues (including: illness or dissatisfaction with current levels of fitness or physical appearance).
- Unresolved issues from your past that are still impacting on your mental and emotional health.
- Bereavement, loss and grief.
- Low self-esteem or confidence levels.
- Patterns of unhelpful thinking or behaving that are damaging you or holding you back (including: social anxiety or withdrawal, substance misuse, lack of assertiveness).
- Issues connected to handling or expressing your emotions (including feelings of emotional turmoil or detachment, or difficulty containing and expressing emotions such as love, sadness or anger).
What is MANN uP's approach to note-taking and record keeping?
Whether you are engaging with a MANN uP service there will be a need to keep a record of your contact details in case it needs to reach you at any point during the time you are engaging with the service.
In the case of personal advancement programmes, a brief summary note will be made after each session to track key themes, discussion points etc. (to help keep the programme focused and on course).
In the case of a collective workshop, a brief note of any key issues or discussion points raised will be made after each session to help aid and inform the progress of the workshop.
In both instances, those notes will be coded and will not contain any personal details (name, address or contact details), that could identify an individual or group member.
Data will only be gathered with the express agreement and understanding of data subjects and processed in the pre-agreed manner set out at the time the data is gathered and will not be utilised for any other purposes.
Client records and notes are held as securely as possible in a mix of paper/electronic formats in a separate location offsite. Information will never be shared with any third-party unless the client(s), give express permission in writing for information to be shared (at their request), or unless MANN uP is ordered by a court to share information.
MANN uP’s normal practice is to retain records of the client reference to financial payments made by them to MANN uP for up to 7 years for accounting purposes. Client session notes are normally retained for 2 years in case a client wishes to re-engage with a programme. After these timeframes notes will be destroyed.
MANN uP is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and any client retains the right to request access to all records held on them at any time. You can do so by asking your MANN uP Representative or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I access MANN uP services if I am currently engaging in substance abuse or living with a physical/mental health issue?
If you are currently engaging in misuse of any substance, or living with a physical or mental health issue, MANN uP makes no judgement on you for that and would wish to do all it can to help guide and support you.
However, there will need to be a consideration on how that substance misuse, or physical/mental health issue will affect your right and ability to be fully autonomous throughout the duration of a MANN uP service and your ability to fully engage and collaborate.
You have the right to decide what to work on and what should or should not be discussed or covered during sessions. If use of a substance has the potential to impair your cognition (thinking), it would not be fair to continue in a process where you are not able due to that impairment to always be making conscious and informed choices.
Furthermore, if your cognition is impaired it may limit your ability to actively engage in a session which would mean you would not be getting full value from it.
If this may potentially be an issue for you, why not arrange an introductory session which will give you the opportunity to come in and discuss potential ways to make it work best for you.
What if I am not happy with the service I am receiving from MANN uP?
Please, please say and as soon as possible if you are not happy with any aspect of the service you are receiving from MANN uP. If is your journey of advancement and you are entitled to have services delivered in the way they you want and which is best for you so that you can take full advantage of the process and receive maximum possible benefit from it.
Feedback is always welcomed (it is the only way things can be improved upon), and the approach to addressing any issues raised will be to collaborate to find ways to change or improve things. Which will not only benefit your sessions, but could also improve things for other MANN uP clients too.
Giving feedback in person allows an opportunity to engage in discussion straightaway to initiate change as swiftly as possible. However, if you would feel more comfortable doing so, you are also very welcome to give feedback by telephone, by email or in writing (see the Contact section for ways to get in touch).
Alternatively, anyone providing MANN uP services will be registered with a body such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy, the National Counselling Society or the Irish Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy. You also have the option of asking for that person's membership details to make direct contact with such a body if you wish.