Eli Ihaia says there is too much pressure on men to suppress their emotions. Instead, men should be empowered to connect with their feelings and talk. Mr Ihaia is the co-founder of Port Macquarie mental health group called Self Seen (Self Empowered Love Framework Secures Every Essential Need). The group will host a men's workshop on Saturday, September 12 at Big Hill Beach, Crescent Head. Mr Ihaia believes some men are not willing to be vulnerable and open up about past experiences that might be holding them back. "The workshop is about teaching them fundamental psychology as human beings and how we can sometimes hold onto trauma," he said. Men are invited to write themselves a forgiveness letter, so they can put the past aside and become more empowered as a result. "It's an introduction to their healing journey," he said. Mr Ihaia said the definition of masculinity has changed over time. "Our fathers and our grandfathers have taught us to be the stoic man who can handle everything that comes our way and not to share and not to open up," he said. "We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be a strong human." The workshop aims to create a safe and sacred space for men to communicate with each other. Mr Ihaia said men feel the pressure in today's society to fill many roles, including providing financially for the family as well as wanting to be a father figure for their children. He said the increased pressure can fuel poor behaviour where men might turn to drugs to provide themselves with an outlet. Mr Ihaia and the other founders of Self Seen, Ben Cudmore and Luke Anderson, recently participated in domestic violence workshop hosted by Lifeline. Course attendees learnt how to approach people they believe are experiencing domestic violence and received advice on how best to help them. "The domestic violence training was a fundamental building base on what to look for and the signs to look for," Mr Ihaia said. Thank you for valuing local journalism with your subscription. While you're with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.