New Group Planning To Cover Costs For Local Men Who Can’t Afford Mental Health Supports

A newly formed group in town is trying to help men who can’t afford mental health supports.

Psychotherapist Rolando Hyman created ‘XY Spark’ during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to encourage more people to seek help if they’re struggling mentally.

The focus is more on men as multiple studies have found they’re less likely to reach out and share their experience.

Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters, Hyman says he has started to notice more men becoming more comfortable and asking for help.

‘I’ve had so many men reach out and are coming out of the woodworks to say ‘yes, I’m aware something is off, I need to talk to somebody.”

In an attempt to encourage more men, ‘XY Spark’ will help cover the costs for different services.

Hyman notes 75 per cent of all the funds donated and collected by the group will be used to pay all fees.

“We’re saying if you need to talk to somebody, don’t let it be finances that are stopping you, you come, talk to us, there’s funding, let’s work together.”

The group is looking for local health providers to become sponsors. By doing so, they would contact the group if they come across somebody who can’t afford specific treatment.

Meanwhile, ‘XY Spark’ is planning on holding an event to help get more people talking about mental health.

On June 20, depending on COVID-19, they’re planning to walk from Keyano College to MacDonald Island Park.

In the days leading up, they’ll also be holding smaller walks in different neighbourhoods.

“We’re going to be going into the community, to different areas, and just walk through those different avenues and bring awareness to the community,” added Hyman.

This event would coincide with walks happening in Edmonton, Ottawa, parts of Eastern Canada, and more.

People can get more information about the walk, funding opportunities through their social media pages. A shop is also up and running on Franklin Avenue.

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