The Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), has been beavering away for some years now, trying to help depressed, lonely males. They call themselves Shed Men and they aim to provide men with sheds, so they can become Shedders. I know, I know.
This year AMSA will benefit to the tune of $3million from Austraia (And the world’s) first ever National Male Health Policy.
Its success is based on the observation that “men find it much easier to talk to one another when they are shoulder to shoulder rather than face to face”, said a spokesman.
The stereotypical Australian male is a swaggeringly macho XXXX-drinker, which is fine until Bruce grows old or retires or is bereaved or otherwise vulnerable. The stereotype fails and they become isolated. So the Shed Men provide community sheds, where there are bits and bobs of tools and machinery lying about. There’s the wherewithal to make yourself a cuppa.
There is comfortable enough seating and a sense of people being about, whether or not you care to address them. the woman on Woman’s Hour.
EN’S sheds will benefit to the tune of $3million from the first ever National Male Health Policy.
The new policy and particularly the support for men’s sheds have been welcomed by depression initiative beyondblue and its chief executive officer Leonie Young.
“It is well known that men tend to be less vigilant about their health than women,” Ms Young said.
“Men are less likely to talk about their health or seek help for health problems. This is particularly true of mental health; with a long culture of stoicism, toughing it out and a ‘she’ll be right’ attitude.
“We know from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and beyondblue’s community research that one in eight Australian men will experience depression and one in five will experience an anxiety disorder, yet few seek help.
“Depression and anxiety are illnesses, not a weakness and help is available. With the right treatment, most people recover.
“Community-based men’s sheds are social venues where men can gather in a safe and supported environment that encourages discussion and the sharing of information.
“By providing a beyondblue men’s shed kit and depression awareness training programs, beyondblue and AMSA have provided an effective means to promote healthy living, access information and reduce isolation and loneliness – key risk factors for depression.”
AMSA’s Arana Hills co-ordinator Don Scott said their Men’s Shed was a casual place for men to confide in other men.
“It’s about men chewing the fat, just talking and supporting each other with conversation,” he said.
“Men tend to keep things in a little because they’re a little introverted about talking about issues that affect them personally.
“When they get in to a group and discover someone else has got the same problems they’ve got, they open up a little bit more and become not so guarded.”
Mr Scott said the majority of men who attended were retirees missing the companionship they got from their former workplaces.
“Once you finish work and go into retirement or are made redundant you lose the camaraderie from that side of life which you get working alongside of people and having a chat.”
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