April 15 2023
The PHN’s recent Community Recovery and Reconnection Grants offered the opportunity for organisations to host activities and programs that would help their communities to reconnect and rebuild their resilience.
Posted June 05, 2023
Following the establishment of eleven successful Men’s Tables across the region, the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN) is expanding the program and currently inviting new local men right across the region to get involved.
A Men's Table is a peer support community group for men where a small group get together each month for dinner and conversation about the highs and lows of their lives and how they feel about what’s going on for them. Over time, the same men build a safe and trusting environment together and make a commitment to be there each month for themselves and the other men.
Tables are established upon a simple structure and are sustained through the commitment of each man to show up every month. This Model of Care has been proven to demonstrate positive outcomes and impacts including improved mental health and emotional wellbeing; suicide prevention; resilient community building; social connection; and improved help seeking strategies.
The PHN currently supports The Men’s Table across its region in Armidale, Glen Innes, Inverell, Tamworth, Central Coast, Narrabri, and Newcastle. Based on the success of these Tables, the PHN has expanded the program and will provide support for Tables across a range of new communities including Taree, Forster, Scone, Muswellbrook, Tenterfield, and Gunnedah.
HNECC PHN Chief Executive Officer, Richard Nankervis, said “The Men’s Table creates a sense of belonging, community, peer support and camaraderie that is lacking for many men, even for some who already have a group of mates.
The PHN is proud to be supporting this valuable and life-saving initiative. We encourage all men who want to expand their social circle and enjoy deeper conversations, to come and sit at a Table.”
The Men’s Table is a national registered not for profit organisation with a simple, local approach to community building. With a vision of Healthy Men, Healthy Masculinities, Healthy Communities, the Men’s Table helps men build meaningful male friendships and connections by creating non-judgemental places to share, overcoming the stigma that “men don’t talk”.
A 2021 study shed much needed light on how men seek help when faced with life challenges. Commissioned by the National Mental Health Commission and undertaken by The Men’s Table, the ‘From Couch to Community’ report surveyed men facing life’s challenges, finding that although many men see a need for help, they are not sure how to go about seeking it.
In-depth interviews showed that there are important subtleties at play on the pathway to seeking support.
The study co-author, David Pointon, said it’s incorrect to assume that men do not actively seek opportunities to connect with other men. “Men do want to talk about personal thoughts and emotions. The right support approach leads to the necessary confidence and trust. Further, consistent nudges almost always work for men. Demands and ultimatums can have the opposite effect.
Through the study we found that an invitation to serve other men, while also helping themselves, is a much more engaging way to position the pathway to help as opposed to just saying ‘go seek help’.”
“The message from the study is that what helps in getting men off the couch is to seek places where there are men like them and to see that by participating, they could in fact help others at the same time as helping themselves.”
With seats available at Tables in all of the above-mentioned communities, men interested in joining The Men’s Table can find out more at: The Men's Table (themenstable.org)
Subscribe to our mailing list to get all the latest news updates delivered to your inbox.