Group will support fathers
A new group will offer support to men affected by gang and gun violence.
Wayne Caines, Minister of National Security, and Pastor Leroy Bean, the island's gang violence reduction co-ordinator, announced the initiative at a press conference this afternoon.
The minister said the creation of Fathers Support Group followed the “heart-warming” and “incredible” response from the community to Mothers on a Mission — a support group for mothers affected by violence.
Mr Caines said: “Although bonded by tragedy, these men have come together to support one another, to deal with their grief, and to uplift their communities through their efforts at reconciliation and forgiveness.”
Mr Caines said that it was the responsibility of Government as leaders to facilitate the healing needed in Bermuda. Initiatives such as MOM and Fathers Bermuda, he said, had the “potential to empower communities”.
He added: “Restored people can rebuild lives.”
Mr Bean said the initiative was designed to provide healing and support.
He added: “We create a safe, non-judgmental, therapeutic environment for men to share their feelings, their hurt, and their pain.”
Support-trained clinicians are present at each meeting, Mr Bean said.
To date, “at least” three meetings had been held, Mr Bean said. Attendance at the meetings had ranged between seven to nine men.
Mr Bean said the men who had taken part had been open, honest and transparent.
He added: “They're looking for that healing, and to share the pain that they feel.”
Mr Bean said the meetings were not solely for fathers, and that any man affected by violence — including uncles, brothers and sons — were invited to join.
He said the community needed men that are “healthy and whole”.
He added: “We believe that this men's group is a key component to bring about the healing and change that Bermuda so desperately needs.”
Mr Caines described the new initiative as “significant”.
He said that following the creation of the mother's group, community members had been asking when a similar men's group would take shape.
Mr Caines added: “Oftentimes in the black community we do not get opportunities for men to have treatment for treating of issues that plague us through the social services.
“This is counter culture. This is a safe environment where men can come and talk, to share their feelings, to discuss their pain, to discuss their anguish.
“And this is not something that, as men, we do often.”
Fathers Bermuda meets every Tuesday night at the Government Administration Building from 6pm to 8pm.
For more information, contact email@example.com or 705-7473.