Geraldton Men’s Shed mending hearts

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
One in four people feel lonely at least three days every week, according to Swinburne University study.
Camera IconOne in four people feel lonely at least three days every week, according to Swinburne University study. Credit: Getty Images

It’s a place where they meet to fix things.

In many cases, it’s material objects. But it’s often a broken heart.

Men’s Sheds are growing in number and popularity. There’s nearly 1000 in Australia, double that number internationally.

There’s tools and activities and much to do. It’s a place where men make “magic stuff”.

But often it’s words which work the best.

“Jim” and “Bob” (not their real names) were attracted to Men’s Shed through the same reason — loneliness. The former through a marriage breakdown and the latter because his partner had died.

It was a last resort to go to Men’s Shed but something the pair are forever thankful for.

“I’d read and heard about it . . . but wasn’t keen to make a move,” Jim said.

“In the end, I’m not sure what made me go along, but I know if I hadn’t, it would have been the end for me.”

Sobering words.

Bob was devastated at the loss of his wife of 46 years. He sat at home for months and months, his mind the only thing wandering.

A regular check-in with his GP led to action. Script-wise, he was given medication which has helped. However, he said, the best advice was to call into a men’s club.

“It’s the best medical appointment I’ve had,” Bob said.

“I now realise we’ve all got problems, it’s just that when you are experiencing them, you think you’re the only one with them.

“I’ve met men who have become mates. My hands have made things which I didn’t think I would be able to make.

“But most of all, my empty heart has been filled.

“My life has purpose again.”

HELP LINES

Lifeline 13 11 14

Lifeline.org.au

beyondblue 1300 24 636

beyondblue.org.au

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Suicidecallbackservice.org.au

Mensline Australia 1300 789 987

mensline.org.au

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