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  • Jonathan Isserow

'Leave Your Armour at the Door': Awesome Participant-led Intervention at DUDES Club

The DUDES Club have managed to find the 'secret sauce' to generative men's mental health intervention. The DUDES Club was established in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside in 2010 and since then clubs have been set up in communities across British Columbia. The DUDES Club is a proven model for Indigenous men’s wellness promotion that builds solidarity and brotherhood, enabling men to regain a sense of pride and purpose in their life. Frank Cohn , Jacob Fitzpatrick and his team provided a comprehensive overview of their service which is uniquely participent-led for men's health and wellness. This means that at times the process is messy and the progress slow. However, it also means substantial by-in by the men who make the DUDES club their own. Steeped in local indigenous cultural, they provide a space for non-western forms of healthcare practices that privilege cultural competencies, relationships and connection to the land. Interestingly, their evaluation embraces both western and non-western, or post-colonial epistemologies. This approach makes me consider the possible development of a progressive masculine methodology and epistemology, which is yet to be fully developed. I am deeply grateful to Frank, Jacob and all the people at The DUDES club for such an awe-inspiring visit! 15th June 2023

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