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International Men's Health Week - 50 reasons a day to celebrate!

The Lismore App

Lara Leahy

09 June 2024, 9:01 PM

International Men's Health Week - 50 reasons a day to celebrate!

“50 men a day die from ailments with preventable causes,” Reports the Australian Men’s Health Forum. This week, men of Lismore, is a good week to do a little self check to see how your health is tracking - it's the International Men’s Health Week (IMHW)!

IMHW runs from today (June 10) to June 16, 2024, and the challenge is out there to find a good way to celebrate, by doing something, or many things, for a healthier you.  

The Australian Men's Health Forum (AMHF) is the national peak forum for an informed approach to the health of men and boys. They are a good resource to keep help with your health. In 2024, here are a couple of their suggestions:

Know Your Man Facts are promoting “7 health checks you should get before you die.” Check them out and make sure you are up to date…

Help a Mate is about knowing how to help out a mate doing it tough. If you think someone might be struggling, the things to watch for are;

  • Something’s happened
  • Something’s changed
  • Something’s not right.

If you spot someone who you believe may do with some mateship, the advice is to “Ask and Listen.” Then “Build a Plan.” And finally, “Connect to help.” If you know someone that you think could use a chat, this is a great resource.  

With this in mind, we spoke to another group of men that have a great mate ethos - The Lismore Men's Shed, who believe in mateship, “Shoulder to Shoulder”. 

Bob Greig, the President and Don Abrahams, the Vice President are very passionate about what the Men's Shed represents and how it is such an important resource for so many men.

“The Men’s Shed movement was originally set up for retired servicemen who came back from the war and of course, they suffered greatly in regards to mental health. Today, however, it extends into the general population and is available to everyone," Don said.

“There are more Men's Sheds in Australia than there are McDonald's. The reason is because of the positive aspects of mateship they provide."

“One of the issues with men is they tend to internalise their emotions. And, of course, that can cause someone to become ill. Whereas Men's Sheds allow interaction with other men who are going through similar things. That interaction brings relief because they can actually talk about it.”

Don got involved with the Mens Shed after undergoing personal health issues, “Well, I suffered a series of illnesses, eight heart attacks and had four heart surgeries, and it forced me into an early retirement. 

“I had been a very active man prior to that, and I found that I was just lost. I felt what was the use? I mean, I can't do anything. After I attempted suicide, someone suggested that I go along to the Men's Shed, which I did. 

“I was welcomed with open arms. I’m not a very good craftsman, but I found guys that I could just sit and have a yarn to.”

As with much of Lismore, there was loss and recovery after the double floods. Don was president at the time the floods struck, and he said, “I managed to secure an $80,000 grant to help fix up the premises that we're in now. And we were blessed with a gift from the Gosling foundation of 25,000 to retool as some of the equipment is very expensive.”

Things are getting back to where they were as Don laughs and says, “But because we're all old blokes, well most of us are, it's a bit of a slow process.

“There are several ways to get involved. You can either come down and get on the tools, making and building stuff. There is woodwork, metalwork, one guy fixes small engines, another fellow has started doing stained glass windows. Or you can just sit down and have a coffee. And if you need it, let your troubles out - there's always a shoulder, even one to cry on if you need one.”

“We will often take on small jobs like fixing furniture - it is our bread and butter and pays the bills. We're in a throwaway society but the mens shed like to think we will repair that chair or whatever it is, so they can use it again.

“We just refurbished a whole bunch of little chairs. For one of the preschools, and a whole bunch of little tables for them.”

This week, why don't you grab a mate, or your dad or your son, and head down to the Mens Shed to see what it’s all about.

The Mens Shed is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8.30am - 2.30pm.

The address is: 15 Industry Drive, East Lismore.

Call Bob Grieg on 0404 860 504 or Don Abrahams on 0437 576 837 for more details.

Men's Shed Website and Facebook page

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