After nearly two decades of helping men cope with stress, a Shepparton men’s group co-ordinator says there is even more need for its services today.JOHN LEWIS June 10, 2014 4:16am
Dealing with issues: Talking Straight group convenor Dale Wright says men need more help than ever in regard to their physical and mental health.
‘‘Men are facing more personal and family-related issues than ever before,’’ Talking Straight group convenor Dale Wright said.
‘‘There are workplace issues, Facebook and social media bullying problems. Many blokes are feeling lost, deserted, let down and just scared.’’
Mr Dale’s comments come at the start of International Men’s Health Week.
The week highlights men’s physical and mental health concerns, such as diabetes, osteoporosis, family health, workplace accidents and men’s higher likelihood of suicide or being a victim of homicide.
A well-known Shepparton photographer, Mr Wright said he was encouraged to attend a men’s group meeting 18 years ago, after he found himself becoming stressed about the daily routines of work and life.
‘‘I was falling apart, but I felt invincible. I was involved in work and service clubs and church and family — and then one day it just hit me, I can’t do it like this any more,’’ he said.
After attending his first men’s group meeting in Shepparton, he was hooked.
‘‘The message was — stay still. Work on yourself. Before going, I would have said that’s all crap,’’ he said.
He said during the past 18 years he had seen about 200 men pass through the group and move through a 12-week program to deal with serious issues in their lives.
‘‘Some men arrive scared, disillusioned, apprehensive — it’s the anxiety of the unknown,’’ he said.
He said group members were taken on a river camping trip, sometimes with older and younger pairings, to discuss subjects such as compassion, forgiveness, grief, or father-and-son relationships.
‘‘Many blokes form long-lasting relationships. We have blokes we helped as teenagers who now have their own kids,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve been invited to the second weddings of blokes who have been decimated by divorce. I think that’s great.’’
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