Wellbeing

‘They save men’s lives’ Sheds project is game-changer for male mental health

Get your sons, husbands, brothers, or dads to check out Men’s Sheds

Where do you like to talk to your mates; perhaps in the pub, while watching the Euros, or over a hangover fry-up?

The scenery of a chat might seem insignificant when chinwagging, though feeling comfy in our environment is essential when it comes to getting things off our chests.

And what better way to get chatting than in the great outdoors?!

[Credit: Dalbeattie Men’s Shed]

This is what the awesome UK Men’s Sheds Association champions, connecting blokes to improve their mental health against the perfect backdrop of Mother Nature.

They do this by helping folk set up their own Men’s Sheds group in local communities to bring residents together and boost male health and wellbeing.

The sheds are not only designed to improve social interactions by building friendships, but also help fellas gain new skills such as making and mending.

While the concept is very similar to a garden shed, the difference is that garden sheds are often places of solitary while Men’s Sheds are the opposite and all about connection.

[Credit: UK Men’s Sheds Association]

Speaking about their objectives, the team state that sheds are whatever the members – or ‘shedders’ as they call them – want them to be.

In their mission statement, they say: “Although labelled sheds, they often aren’t sheds at all.

“They can be empty offices, portable cabins, warehouses, garages, and in at least one case, a disused mortuary. Many don’t have premises in the beginning and instead form a group that meets regularly for the camaraderie until they find somewhere to kit out with tools.”

In addition to forming new social circles, many sheds also get involved in community projects too.

Just to name a few, shedders have basked in the glory of restoring village features, helping maintain parks and green spaces, and building things for schools, libraries and individuals in need.

[Credit: UK Men’s Sheds Association]

Other activities that shedders are encouraged to try include woodwork, metalwork, electronics, and even car-building, it really is down the individual members of each shed what they do.

The sheds blueprint is to help men smash stigma that it’s ‘female’ to talk about mental health, by showing guys it’s okay to have concerns and personal problems.

The team added: “Sheds are about meeting like-minded people and having someone to share your worries with. They are about having fun and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.

“As a by-product of all of that, they reduce isolation and feelings of loneliness, they allow men to deal with mental health challenges more easily and remain independent, they rebuild communities and in many cases, they save men’s lives.”

While it is typically older men who flock to the sheds, they welcome everyone so get your sons, husbands, brothers, or dads to check them out.

For more info, click here: UK Men’s Sheds Association.

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