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“Celebrate the power of people continuing to learn throughout their lives”, this is the message from Adult Learning Australia who want to make 2018 the year of lifelong learning. Australian and international research supports that when people take an active approach to learning in their adult years they develop skills, confidence and courage to live independently, find work and shine at new skills. “Lifelong learning” encompasses a wide range of learning opportunities from schooling, other formal education institutions, workplaces and through community participation.

Does this mean we all have to enroll in University, TAFE or a certified training course? The short answer is no, as learning is no longer considered an activity confined to education institutions. Rather, it is recognised as happening in the workplace, in the home and during leisure time. This is known as Informal Learning, which does not result in a qualification or certificate, but can be considered to embrace a whole range of activities that enhance life skills such as:
• Reading;
• Using the computer or the searching the internet (you must be careful here!);
• Watching TV / listening to the radio;
• Visiting libraries or museums;
• Playing sport;
• Attending community forums or information sessions (guest speakers);
• Joining a men’s shed/CWA/ or other community group;
• Volunteering;
• Mentoring within the workplace.

It never ceases to amaze me the stories we hear from blokes involved in WA Men’s Sheds who have either reconnected with or learnt a new skill. This in turn can create a sense of pride, achievement and that all important sense of meaning and purpose that we all, especially blokes, seek in life’s journey.

At Regional Men’s Health we talk about our social/spiritual wellbeing which is one important aspect to our overall health and wellbeing and it is this aspect of our health that is unique to the individual and can be what each of us wants it to be. It is where we get our identity, individuality, sense of self, meaning, purpose, passions and interests. Sometimes though these things do not just simply appear or develop by themselves without effort, some of us will have to spend time to grow and nurture our passions and interests.

Learning experiences may not always come our way. We may need to actively seek them out or expose ourselves to the right environment to provide this opportunity, and this could mean trying more than once. Like the old saying “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got”. Getting out of our comfort zone, trying something new, revisiting the things that used to get us excited can help enhance our sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Cheers

Terry and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au


   

A bloke’s ego is made up of all those things which help us define who we are as individuals, it is a construct of our personality, character, self-image, self-esteem and self-worth.
In some conversations that we have, we may think “that man has such an enormous ego – I’ve never known anyone so full of themselves!
One dictionary definition states “someone's ego is their sense of their own worth. For example, if someone has a large ego, they think they are very important and valuable. He had a massive ego; never would he admit he was wrong.”
It is the latter part of this definition that often leads blokes into spaces they would rather not be, not talking about the stuff which is important to wellbeing. This can be personal issues to do with relationships, finance, family, work and/or any other issues that are challenging us.

Perhaps part of this ego equation for blokes is enshrined in the main things we worry about, which quite often are about the traditional expectations of society, our place in society - career-wise and success wise. As a collective us blokes are still perceived by how much we are earning and how well we are doing, being defined by the work we do. We are more than this.
Additionally, our social/spiritual wellbeing needs to be better understood and made a higher priority by all blokes and society. We talk about it in all our education sessions. For us it is where we find: Our identity, Our individuality, Our own sense of self, Our sense of belonging, How to express our passions and interests. It is what each of us wants it to be.

In practical terms this is us blokes talking about and being more than our work. In conversations with each other we should be talking about the fact that we are a dad, a brother, a grandfather, an uncle, a husband, a family man, a rally driver, BBQ king, handyman, and/or chef. By talking about what makes us tick (in part, our ego) we can put a positive spin around the meaning of ego, the main one being admitting when we are wrong and/or when we are struggling with life, it is okay to talk!!

Culturally blokes in general are fixers ‘I’ll just fix this myself” so we always must question what we are fixing, how we are fixing it, and when we are fixing it? We know all men need to talk, the million-dollar question is to whom and where? Everyone needs their personal space, for blokes to engage and have a conversation we need a safe place and quite often a place with a masculine vibe, this can be represented by the men’s shed, a sporting club, a social club, just leaning over the back of the ute, or even the barber shop.

We need to have this conversation now; Our ego is not that complex, it is part of our DNA so remember our saying before it gets too much ‘Talk to a Mate!! Enjoy your holidays.

Cheers

Owen and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au


   

At this time of the year we are all busy, often feeling tired, our nerves can be a bit raw and sometimes we are just “over it”. Everyone gets a bit tired and rundown, from kids at school to mums and dads at home or at work.

We all know there’s lots of work to get done to get us through to the end of the year. This may include finishing the harvest, various stock work, that last FIFO swing before holidays, getting that last job finished and having kids end of year school events to attend. This can lead to us working beyond our limit.

We all have a varying capacity to both absorb those extra things thrown at us and our ability to get the job done, this can differ depending on an individual’s work ethic. We should never assume “what I can do is the norm”, then place that expectation on family members, employees or work colleagues.

Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) gives us a legislative framework to guide us, but it doesn’t allow for the cultural context in which us blokes sometimes operate. The cultural context means our approach to risk taking (we are hard wired risk takers); our need to get the job done (task orientated/deadlines); and our approach to winning. These behaviours can cloud our judgement around keeping safe both in the workplace and in our personal life. We need to be aware and manage our behaviour otherwise we will invariably fail in our responsibility to stay safe.

Keeping safe needs to start somewhere, it is no different to our individual health. I always say that my health is my responsibility, it is not my doctors, my workplace or my wife’s. However, my wife is very good at giving me a good kick up the backside to get me to the doctor to do my annual service visit, my dentist appointment or my skin check.

So, when it comes to keeping safe it is everyone’s responsibility. It is up to all of us whether we are in the workplace, belong to a community group, or within our family setting to be vigilant about keeping safe.

Tips to keeping safe:

  •  Constantly remind ourselves about work protocols;
  •  As employers, have realistic expectations of our employees;
  •  Look out for work colleagues, be aware and respond to behaviour changes. Talk to them about it!
  •  Try and maintain a balanced life, we can only do so much before fatigue becomes an issue;
  •  Outside busy times, take time out;
  •  Enjoy what we do.

As another year winds down let’s keep safe by staying focused on the job at hand, so we all can get to enjoy the upcoming holiday break.

Merry Christmas and we wish everyone a safe and festive new year.

Owen and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au


   

This calendar is a fundraiser for the Bruce Rock Football Club and also Wheatbelt Mens Health. Strange Images took the photos and helped design the calendars. You support would be greatly appreciated.

https://www.strangeimagesphotography.com/shop-online/bk-football-club-hotpies-calendar-2018 

 

Jaxon and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au


   

 

Community Educators from the RMHI team were proud to be involved with the launch of the Think Mental Health Campaign on Tuesday the 28th of November.

The campaign will be delivered online, via radio, social media and digital media.

Through these mediums the Mental Health Commision is hoping to raise awareness with the intention to educate the community about the following key points.

 

  • Empower people to look after their own mental health and wellbeing, as well as that of others.
  • Encourage people to check in with friends, family and colleagues.
  • First phase of the campaign targets males aged 25 – 54 years, because three out of four deaths by suicide are male (in Western Australia), and their family and friends, who can play a support role.
  • Like our physical health, our mental health affects us all on a daily basis. Sometimes just talking about it can make a huge difference.
  • The key thing to take away from this campaign is not to underestimate the power of listening and talking.

 

More information on the topic can be found at the Think Mental Health Health website: www.thinkmentalhealthwa.com.au which includes a mental health self-assessment and check-up tool.

It will be supported by a community resource kit for workers in the mental health field (Suicide Prevention Coordinators), and materials for GPs. 

If you think someone else might be interested …. share details of the campaign.

 

Jaxon and the Team

The Regional Men’s Health Initiative
delivered by Wheatbelt Men’s Health (Inc.)        
PO Box 768, Northam WA 6401            
Phone: 08 9690 2277                
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.regionalmenshealth.com.au