Improving men’s health outcomes through Queensland Men’s Sheds

Amsa Grant Follow Up Large (1)

Men’s Sheds across the state have shared in a substantial funding boost provided by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, helping to support Men’s Shed activities and programs, and men’s health initiatives in 2019.

In late 2018, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was gifted a $150,000 Significant Grant as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s inaugural Fathers’ Day Appeal.

The first $10,000 enabled AMSA, with the help of health professionals, to run 15 Spanner in the Works? men’s health check events for Freemason Lodges, Men’s Sheds and their communities around Queensland during September and October 2018. Designed to raise awareness and encourage men to focus on their mental and physical health, many of the sessions included checking weight / BMI, blood pressure, eyes, stability checks and general mental health. Whilst other events also had guest speakers who provided information on topics related to men’s health.

A pool of $100,000 helped to support AMSA’s Men’s Shed Grants program in Queensland in 2019, which was shared across 78 sheds, enabling them to deliver grassroots health and wellbeing initiatives for men across the state. Whilst an amount of $40,000 helped to deliver ‘safeTALK’ community suicide readiness sessions and ‘Shedders Big BBQ Brunch’ networking events to provide men’s health and wellbeing information and support.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said men’s health and wellbeing was an important aspect of the charity’s work.

“Men’s mental and physical health is a critical issue in the community, but there is still a lot of stigma when it comes to men talking about health issues and seeking help when they need it,” Mr Mark said.

“Through our partnership with AMSA, we are proud to be doing our bit to overcome those barriers by supporting outstanding programs, like Men’s Sheds, as well as contributing to other men’s health initiatives.”

AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers said the support from Hand Heart Pocket had helped Men’s Sheds to add significant value to Queensland communities through these initiatives.

“Men’s Sheds provide practical support, specialised services and resources to thousands of men across Australia from all ages and backgrounds – connecting men in the communities so they can help themselves and each other.”

“This can be a challenge particularly in small and remote locations where fundraising opportunities are limited; therefore the assistance from Hand Heart Pocket has been invaluable,” he said.

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