CLOSE to 60 people came together in support of mental health at a forum organised by Bateman MLA Matt Taylor and hosted by the Bicton Men’s Shed.
Mental Health Minister Andrea Mitchell headlined the event, where she spoke about the State Government’s mental health initiatives before taking questions from the public.
On average, one person dies each day by suicide in Western Australia and men account for three-quarters of suicide deaths.
Mr Taylor said the alarming statistics showed the need for groups like the Men’s Shed.
“The community benefit provided by Men’s Sheds may not be easily measurable, but it is massive,” he said.
“Not only do they provide a place for men to belong and bond with peers, but the men are able to use their skills to help the community in very practical ways.”
The event was a father and son effort for the Taylors; Matt’s dad Trevor was instrumental in establishing the Bicton Men’s Shed six years ago and is the current vice-president.
Trevor Taylor said the Shed, located behind the Bicton Uniting Church, provided tools and equipment for men to conduct woodwork, metalwork and various handyman tasks.
“We work with five local primary schools and three kindergartens, building and repairing things like chicken houses, worm farms and garden beds,” he said.
The Bicton Men’s Shed has also built bird nesting boxes for the City of Melville at Piney Lakes Reserve and a play boat for the SAS kindergarten at Swanbourne.
“We’ve been going six years and are looking at starting another Shed in the area because our numbers have grown so much,” Trevor Taylor said.
To find out more about the Bicton Men’s Shed contact Trevor Taylor on 9331 2330.
If you would like to speak to someone about mental health, please call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.