Engaging Men Virtually - Opportunities & Challenges
The last number of months across Ireland and the world has seen unimaginable changes in relation to how we live, work and relax. For over 20 years the Men’s Development Network has been involved nationally in many aspects of engaging and supporting men with health, well-being and living flourishing lives. Much of our work has also involved supporting and engaging with front lines services through training, presentations and other forums. Recent months have comprehensively changed our way of supporting and engaging men, be it a recalibration of our resources or our approach to much of the work. Post COVID 19 will continue these transformations as we move into the new normal and ongoing interactive and blended learning.
New technologies have certainly played an important and supportive role in many ways for us through these unprecedented times of uncertainty and challenge. Thankfully people everywhere continue to address the host of challenges in generous, creative and practical ways. It seems like overnight the world has moved on-line to a virtual way of communicating, working and living. New technology is proving a resourceful and supportive way for all to stay connected with others. MDN as an organisation that works to support and engage men, recognises the importance of such supportive technologies as a positive resource.
However, we are also conscious that many may not be completely at ease or fully competent with these new technologies. As an organisation with years of experience of promoting developmental approaches for engaging men, we recognise the relational and experiential limitations of engaging with each other through these technologies. From our experience, the MDN celebrates and values the real physical presence of men, where possible, as opposed to virtual connections
Organisationally, for years we have promoted ways of supporting men to connect with their feelings, working to undo the harmfu