The first running the the T.O.N.E. Project (adventure and arts-based group therapy for men) is behind us, and initial feedback has been positive and encouraging. From the mouths of men:
- “By providing the environment and space to connect and grow with the group of very courageous and genuine man, I have been able to access parts of myself that I have failed to connect with previously. This is afforded me the opportunity to redirect my path to a pursuit of happiness and healthy relationships.”
- “It [the T.O.N.E. Project] has allowed me to grow and recognize where I need to concentrate my efforts to deal with conflicted issues in my life.”
- “ T.O.N.E has given me new hope and energy to continue on with my healing, and is a great landing pad for true and lasting change.”
- "I think I will be better at expressing my needs and feelings moving forward.”
What is the T.O.N.E. Project, you ask? T.O.N.E. (which stands for Therapy Outside Normal Environments) is a retreat-based, group therapy project funded generously by the Movember Foundation of Canada. T.O.N.E. takes men requiring mental health support services outside of the therapist’s office, and engages them in adventure-based therapy experiences, while also integrating art, drama or music therapies. T.O.N.E. also provides space for meaningful connections with other men, and explores healthy and unhealthy aspects of masculinity.
Why is T.O.N.E. for men only?? Generally speaking, men also tend to struggle with reaching out for help when they needed, which leads to poor health outcomes for many men. In fact, the already low mental/physical health outcomes for men, combined with poor help seeking behaviours, has created what the literature dubs, ‘The Double Jeopardy Effect’ – and just not the game show kind. Statistics for men and mental health are alarming:
- 3 out of 4 deaths by suicide are men.
- 1 in 10 Canadian men in Canada will experience major depression in the course of their lives.
- Every 62 seconds a man dies by suicide globally.
- 1 in 4 people in Canada do not seek help with mental illness.
- Approximately 10% of war zone Vets experience PTSD symptoms
How long does the group last? T.O.N.E. runs for approximately 3 months - during which time, there will be 3 outings (Fri-Sun), 2 evening sessions, and 1 intake/interview.
How much does this program cost? Thanks to a Movember Foundation Grant (yes, all those moustaches do good!!), the entire group experience will run you $150 - this includes accommodation, meals, and incidentals. All you need to do is get yourself there (with options for sharing rides to help with transport). Our goal is to make T.O.N.E. accessible - so a sliding scale is available.
For additional information on The T.O.N.E. Project, or how to refer someone, please go to www.tonehalifax.ca, or call 902-456-3613
With tremendous gratitude to the Movember Canada Foundation, multiple offerings of this group with be offered through the next 12
Nick Cardone is a Registered Counselling Therapist (Candidate) in Halifax who operates a private practice called Free Range Therapy.