INSIKA MEN’S NETWORK: GROOMING RESPONSIBLE YOUNG MEN
By: Elizabeth Kunene and Dr Euvette Taylor
The Insika Men’s Network is an organisation formed within the Durban University of Technology’s Student Housing and Residence Life Department. The concept was designed in response to the high rate of male students committing suicides at the institution’s residences.
Historically, men tend to under-use primary health care services despite their susceptibility to particular types of illnesses. One of the primary objectives of Insika is to promote access to health services provided by the university.
Dr Euvette Taylor is a research specialist consultant at the Faculty of Health Sciences at DUT and has explored research on the phenomenon of health seeking behaviours in men.
“Men appear to get most of their support for health concerns from their partners, little from qualified physicians,” said Dr Taylor. “Their pattern of seeking support tends to be indirect rather than straightforward. Help-seeking, perceived vulnerability, fear and denial are important influences on whether men seek help (or not). They look for help for specific problems rather than for more general health concerns.”
Although the structure is still in its infancy stages it has made strides in running programmes within residences. These programmes are facilitated by a selected and trained group of peer educators from various residences under the supervision of Dr Taylor, Mrs Zola Mdlalose from the Department of Student Counselling and Health and Mr Ryan Nkosi, one of the residence advisors.
Insika hopes to inspire a generation of healthy and transformed men that respect women and children and take full responsibility for their actions.
“We need to speak out against those that drag our names down and remove those hashtags that men are trash, dogs or whatever and show that most of us are loving, caring and responsible and we are responsible for bringing up offsprings that would be exemplary in our society,” said Doc Nhassengo, the Director of Student Housing and Residence Life.
*Caption: Dr Euvette Taylor (center) with members from the Insika Men’s Network at the Durban University of Technology.