Recently, Ellen Pearce (Service and Regional Distribution Co-ordinator) visited the Nepean Food Services' Men's Club - a new Social Support group targeting men who are looking for mateship, made possible by a Panthers Club Grant. Here's what she observed:
According to a Men's Health Report published by Black Dog Institute, "Men may be negatively impacted by internal or external stressors, leaving them vulnerable to depressed mood."
Beyond Blue states that "Depression and anxiety in older people can happen for different reasons, such as dealing with a physical illness or personal loss. But it's important to remember that depression and anxiety are not a normal part of ageing or a weakness of character - they're a health issue just like any other. The good news is that effective treatments are available, and with the right support, you can recover." Two of the reasons from those listed were social isolation, and certain anniversaries and the memories they evoke.
I was privileged to be able to observe and interact with the group as we prepared for some photos. As I approached, I instantly felt the silent and strong bond in the room where the men were making their cuppas prior to hopping back on the bus for a tasty lunch at the Golf Club. They gently joked with each other in a supportive way and although the words they were saying were humorous, there was a tangible sense of camaraderie as they helped each other out with passing the sugar and milk around and settling in.
These men now have the opportunity to come together on a monthly basis to chat about whatever it is they feel like on the day. At times, there will be guest speakers and videos to watch as well as more outings, of course. Our volunteers, Jim and Rob did a great job of keeping the mood light throughout the day and James, another of our volunteers joined the group himself and is keen to invite others to join as well. "The more the merrier!" he says.
As printed by Nepean News, 23rd May 2019.