Men’s Health Week: June 13-19

Men’s Health Week: June 13-19

The annual event aims to raise awareness about mental health issues confronting men in Australia.

Ron Steen, the Treasurer of Gladstone Men’s Shed Association Inc. said that nine Australians die every day from suicide, a number that is more than double the road toll. 75 percent of those who take their own lives are men.

“Any tool to educate and increase awareness is important to shine a spotlight on individual and community health and wellbeing, particularly where males are at a greater risk. It is important to take time for a proactive approach to our mental health and wellbeing and to highlight why social connections are important for staying healthy,” said Ron.

Unfortunately, Australian men are statistically far less likely to seek help for mental health problems than women.

“A lot of guys just don’t realise how common mental health problems are, and that by sticking their head in the sand the problems just get worse. There is a great benefit from mates looking after mates, and asking that simple question: ‘Are you okay?’ is an effective strategy to help men get help.”

Ron said that paying attention to your mates, and noticing when they feel stressed, angry, upset or isolated can be a great opportunity to support them. Starting a conversation is the only way to get rid of stigma surrounding mental health, and could even help save a life.

Visiting a local Men’s Shed is also another fantastic way to find support, or to give it.

“Men’s Sheds make a positive contribution to the Australian community through the prevention of social isolation, the promotion of positive health and wellbeing and the opportunity for men to participate in their local community while standing shoulder to shoulder with their peers.”

Gladstone Men’s Shed is located at 18 Moura Crescent in Barney Point, and the chatter at their daily smokos apparently make even more noise than the workshops. To find out more about the Men’s Shed programs, call Ron on 0408 980 175 or send an email to menshed4680@hotmail.com.