Funding boost for local Men’s Shed

MEN'S SHED: A place where men come to talk and connect under the Mount Isa Cancer House. Photo: Melissa North
MEN'S SHED: A place where men come to talk and connect under the Mount Isa Cancer House. Photo: Melissa North

The North Queensland community will benefit from the Australian Government’s National Shed Development Programme, with two local Men’s Sheds set to receive funding.

Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said the initiative is important to support the mental health and wellbeing of local men.

“Men are talking about their health more and more, and the Men’s Shed provides a safe and friendly environment for them to do so. Men’s Sheds are integral to the community and the benefits to men’s health are widely acknowledged,” Senator Macdonald said.

The Herberton and Malanda Men’s Shed are set to benefit from $5,179 and $4000 respectively. The money will go towards new tools, community projects and training.

“This funding is part of a total of $5.1 million the Turnbull Government is providing to the Australian Men’s Shed Association to support Men’s Sheds over the next three years until June 2019.”

Senator Macdonald said feeling included in a social group is important to the emotional and mental health of North Queensland men.

“Although mental illness affects both men and women, we know that men are less likely to seek help.  In 2016, the rate of suicide among Australian males was more than three times that of females.”

Mount Isa Men’s Shed president Richard Lane said the value of this funding can not be overstated.

“The fact it continues to be made available is testimony to the success of the Men’s Sheds’ in meeting the objectives that caused them to be established in the first place,” Mr Lane said.

“It is important to remember that you don’t have to have something wrong with you to be a member of the Men’s Shed; sometimes it’s a good feeling to be the one who can offer a helping hand, or be in a place where the only expectation is to be yourself.”

 All sheds that meet the definition of a Men’s Shed are eligible to apply for funding under the National Shed Development Programme.