Informing Choices NI - Understanding Masculinity

Informing Choices NI are currently supported by the Public Health Agency to undertake a pilot programme – Understanding Masculinity: emotional wellbeing and men – in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust area.

It has been our experience that working with men around their understanding of masculinity has opened conversations around loneliness and isolation, suicidal tendencies, emotional attachment, violence, including violence against women, and difficulties with general stereotypical roles assigned to them. These are areas men regularly avoid discussing, often to the detriment of their mental and physical wellbeing.

We create a safer space to allow men to discuss these issues and build their confidence to access support at an early stage, while also working towards eliminating violence against women.

Our programme, consists of three one-hour sessions. An overview is outlined below.

Week one

The group will discuss their understanding of masculinity, and where and from whom did they learn these views (role models).

  • What role do emotions play in masculinity?
  • What impact do negative emotional attitudes have on men?

Week two

The group will discuss their understanding of the term fear.

  • What role does fear play in shaping our actions (male and female)?
  • How does fear create challenges for women?

Week three

The group will discuss what the word ‘banter’ means to them.

  • How can they safely challenge inappropriate behaviour?
  • How can they influence others within their setting?
  • What can they do as individuals and as part of a group to change attitudes towards masculinity and inappropriate behaviour?


In March 2022 we provided the programme to a group of GAA coaches in the Newtownabbey area. You can read about their experience in the Horizons section our DASH publication.

Get in touch

For more information about our Understanding Masculinity programme contact Mark Breslin on: