No Shame No Blame

Theres an overarching theme that we can see in all masculinity That theme of: I can do it by myself I don’t need help I don’t seek help because a lot of it- I’m being help back from my own personal beliefs and culture that I was brought up in Theres a lot of shame with the idea that I’m going to burden someone else with my problems What is it that were really seeing and potentially contributing to because males are not really accessing our services There’s this kind of overarching theme of My problem I should be able to figure it out And even further I don’t wanna put my problems on other people Native Hawaiian men that I’ve worked with A lot of it is just that, that might be fine for my friends and they need it, but I don’t really it, I’m not that bad Our society says that every gotta do everything on our own We gotta suck it up and we just gotta get over stuff But asking for help thats a true act of courage because it shows that a young man is taking responsibility for his own actions I’m from Yap Island it’s a very small island in the West Pacific People for the most part still live in grass huts A lot of our life styles are based on the ocean Fishing Cultural dances They fish a lot, the men fish a lot and back home there was a huge mentality of like oh yeah boys are super strong and they can handle anything that life throws at them not necessarily encountering an obstacle is something that you yourself have to deal with personally asking for help is not exactly encouraged So theres grief the negative self talk that we all experience second guessing ourselves or is there something else that I could have done I wish I could take something back And how normal that is that we all do it relationship issues stress family lots of different kinds of family problems missing home, pressure from family anywhere from me and my roommate disagree on the definition of the word clean we have a lot of our students that come from the continent they are coming from the islands they are coming to Hawaii and living in Hilo for the first time and not realizing how different Hilo is from home and kinda having that first experience of culture shock so even conversations like I’m feeling burnt out from my major I don’t know what I wanna do with my life and asking you know the big question that’s very appropriate for this age group who am I and who do I want to be Theres definitely a time when for our friends or for ourselves it’s time to seek professional help Truthfully it started because I lost someone to suicide and it was a huge wake up call and after going through the whole mourning process and dealing with a loss I realized that it’s a really unfortunate feeling that no one should ever go through Forgiveness and surrender are the ultimate expressions of strength in that you are able to admit to yourself that I cannot do this alone It definitely helps when you hear someone else say that It’s okay to ask for help and that is something I learned because the receptionist told me to that it’s okay to ask for help someone who was not Pacific Islander she just told me like hey I don’t know what your background is I don’t know what your life story is but I just want you to know it’s okay to approach someone and ask them for two minutes to tell your story or say whats on your mind and if something is bothering you if they can help out, they will help you out After talking sometimes just even the talking helps they just need someone to sit there and listen you know you don’t have to come to this side of the building just cause you have an appointment there’s other things that you can can be doing One of the outreach activities that we do is the relaxation station which is not really counseling sometimes we have a whole group of I don’t know 10 students at a time come and sit and color mandalas or play play doh and so theres a lot less shame involved when it’s a whole group and they are sitting together but then we can go and sit and just start to chat with students and as they get to know us then they can realize that it’s okay to talk a little bit and that it can break down that stigma and shame of just talking to a counselor so that was kinda the idea behind it and making it more welcoming and allow students to relax and explore or de-stress and just kinda come and chill out because that’s one of the things that makes this such a safe space for people to be able to explore anything that they need to explore yeah I think it’s not just a safe space but kinda of a sacred space because of that I’m hoping that people, my peers at least are kind of realizing that certain things like this exist and that they would be more willing and open and you helping them weigh the pros and cons of things and then trying to move them to find reason to work on it and to also find reason that this perception of being cornered and that I’m out of options is just not real that this is a temporary moment in my life that life goes on

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