022 | The Vulnerable Man with Ryan Good

Connecting with Men can be challenging, in particular to address mental health concerns. Learn how adventure can offer a different perspective for connecting with men.

Ryan believes he was put here on this earth to help people feel valued, loved, and experience joy. He has been given the awesome opportunity to fulfill this calling through his role at Foundations Health and Wholeness in Green Bay, where he serves as the President and CEO. Foundations is a non-profit organization that provides mental health counseling and foster care services. Ryan has over 20 years of experience serving in the counseling/foster care field following his graduation from the University of Kentucky with his master’s degree in Social Work. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Wisconsin.

Ryan’s greatest adventure is his 21 years of marriage to his wife Michelle, along with his parenting journey that is currently comprised of 3 adolescents. Ryan enjoys beekeeping, ice fishing, construction, softball, cigars, and family vacations. He and his wife are currently in the process of purchasing a bowling alley with the vision of positively connecting with the youth in their community.

To connect with Ryan Good
Email: Rgood@wearefoundations.org

Website: wearefoundations.org

Mental Health Resources:

Strong Minds: https://foxcities.wi.networkofcare.org/mh/content.aspx?cid=9400

Key Takeaways
1. Social and Emotional connection are paramount to adventure.  The activity offers a fun excuse to hang out with friends and family, but through the shared activity there is an environment to ask questions and connect on a deeper level.   

2. Middle aged males have the highest rate of completed suicides out of any group in our society.  We have to think differently about how to offer solutions, traditional methods require individuals to reach out for help when they are least able to and not designed for masculine tendencies such as parallel play or shoulder to shoulder activities.  

3. Creating simple environments like Ice fishing in a shanty on the ice offer the distraction of fishing, but the space for deeper conversation.  This can be ideal for connecting with other guys or adolescent children. It just leads to natural conversations above and beyond fishing.

4. Rural Wisconsin can be challenging for youth to find places to connect with other youth and adults.  Ryan and his wife have decided to create the space for positive youth and adult interaction to exist by embarking on a new adventure and collectively bonding through a new shared experience. 

5. The stigma that’s been associated with mental health in general has been a big barrier to overcome in our community. When we asked men how we might offer services differently, adventure came up as a key theme in connection for men.  

6. Often women will sit face to face, whereas men will sit shoulder to shoulder. When you think about sports or being outdoors, you’re very seldom face-to-face with your peers.

7. Male conversations also happen in a wave format  starting out shallow talking about whatever topic,  go deep for a little bit, but then need to  get back up and take a breath of air 

8. Less is more, limiting distractions and simplifying the environment like sitting in a 6×6 Shanty or tacos in a warehouse can create the space for deeper connection.  

9. A blessing from COVID was exposing the vulnerabilities of our personal lives.  Creating simple experiences like a zoom cigar with a brother or friend allowed for a connection, when they would not likely call each other to talk on the phone previously.  

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