On Tuesday June 20 the Kulin CRC in Partnership with the Regional Men’s Health Initiative (RMHI), will be hosting a Bloke’s Night Out at the Freebairn Recreation Centre in Kulin.
Men’s Health Awareness Week
It’s Men’s Health Awareness Week from the 12th – 18th of June so in recognition of this the evening theme is about men’s health in all forms.
From 6pm onwards there will be a BBQ Dinner available, complimentary of the Kulin CRC. We will also meet our advocate from the RMHI who will be presenting some tips on overall wellbeing for blokes.
After the presentations everyone is encouraged to take part in the Pit Stop Program but this is not mandatory if you just want to have a chat that’s fine too. The Pit Stop is kindly being run by volunteers from our local St Johns Ambulance centres and the Kondinin Medical Centre including Dr Mackie.
What’s the Pit Stop Program?
The Pit Stop Program is using the analogy of a mechanical service for a car you receive a work order that you have to progress through nine stations to receive a good working order roadworthy sticker or a report for further work unroadworthy sticker.
Dr Mackie will be on hand and ‘manning’ one of the stations, so feel free to have a good chat to him on your way through.
Mates talking to mates
Blokes Night Out is about facilitating an evening for Mates to talk to Mates before it all gets too much, the message that the RMHI stands by.
As blokes RMHI cites three main categories from where we find and establish real mateship. These exist usually in the forms of a partner (an intimate relationship), a peer (someone roughly the same age and same experiences) and a mentor who is usually an older person who’s lived experience we place value upon (Dad, uncle, Granddad etc.).
A real mate is more than just an associate, it’s someone that knowingly respects and values who we are and is willing to make the time to genuinely listen to us. Think about who you would classify as a mate; and about the blokes you know who perhaps have few or none of these categories in their lives?
Having a plan already in place that identifies who our mates are that we can turn to is really important. Without a network of true mates we become susceptible to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Being a good mate is also about actively looking out for the people we care about and taking action when we recognise that something is not quite right. A simple question like the one proposed by the recent R U OK? Campaign can be a significant step in connecting with someone and giving them the opportunity to chat about what’s on their mind.
If you have a gut feel that someone you know is not travelling well ask them how they are going and don’t be afraid to ask more than once!
There are three things we all need in life, to love someone; to do something meaningful and to have something to look forward to. These three things are a constant through the different stages of our lives whether it be adolescence, mid-life, transition and retirement.
Blokes we need to remember these three needs and actively stay engaged as they are a strong conduit to maintaining a healthy disposition and aids in building something else into our life other than just our work to identify ourselves by.
We need to be mindful of living in the present and connecting with others. For a bloke this connectedness is really important and can be maintained simply by attending a local men’s shed, playing bowls or participating/watching our preferred sport with a friend, having a cuppa with a neighbour or spontaneously dropping in on a mate.
So remember take time to laugh with others and enjoy what we do, talk to a mate about our health and wellbeing and/or ask him how he is going and make sure we block out some time at the end of our busy periods to have a break.
Often it is said that blokes in general don’t really like to talk about stuff but the reality is quite different. Given the right environment, in which they feel comfortable most men will willingly share their story and talk about issues that matter to them.
Being a good mate is about supporting a person in that space and genuinely listening to what they have to say. We don’t have to be an expert or necessarily have any of the answers to people’s problems, just the ability to listen.
Every bloke from the community is encouraged to attend the Blokes Night Out evening and we would like to also invite blokes from surrounding communities to come along too.
Remember, Talk to a mate!! It will help.
(*parts of the article excerpted from regionalmenshealth.org.au where you will find a range of other useful resources)
For more information about Mens health Awareness Week go to www.menshealthweek.org.au
For information on Men’s Health go to www.andrologyaustralia.org
For more information please contact us.