A new program from the Region of Queens aims to bring senior men together to address mental health.
The Men’s Shed program is a chance to socialize in much the same way as people would in a garage or workshop.
Facilitator and Physical Activity Coordinator for the municipality Norm Amirault says research has shown as men get older they have a more difficult time than women connecting with their peers.
“Sometimes older men lose their way a little bit. So much of their identity is tied to their work,” said Amirault. “If they haven’t kept up connections, like with Kinsmen or their church or with whatever, they can, very much, get lost a little bit.”
Each Men’s Shed group decide for themselves their activities.
Many pursue interests such as woodworking, repairing bicycles and music, all with the aim of providing an outlet for men to socialize with each other.
Amirault says after decades of working, many older men are isolated which can lead to mental health issues such as depression.
“The overall impression is that men’s self-worth or men’s self image is often tied to their career and when they retire and perhaps they don’t have as many community things, they tend to lose their way,” said Amirault.
The Men’s Shed movement started in Australia in 2007, spreading to New Zealand, the UK and arriving in Canada in 2015.
The movement has caught on in Western Canada and Ontario and this will be the first Men’s Shed group in the Atlantic provinces.
Amirault says the group will be a men’s only organization but for the first meeting, wives and female friends are encouraged to attend.
“Because often times the males of the species need a little push to get involved in things,” said Amirault.
The first meeting of the Men’s Shed group is Wednesday Sept. 29 at Queens Place.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, anyone wishing to attend is asked to confirm they are coming in advance by calling Norm Amirault at (902) 354-5741.
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