DURING a day of camaraderie and support, the CCCI and Origin Energy brought the Chinchilla community together to raise awareness and promote men's' health and wellbeing, at the Chinchilla Men's Shed. Pic: Supplied
DURING a day of camaraderie and support, the CCCI and Origin Energy brought the Chinchilla community together to raise awareness and promote men's' health and wellbeing, at the Chinchilla Men's Shed. Pic: Supplied

Leading Chinchilla organisations shine light on men’s health

DURING a day of camaraderie and support, the CCCI and Origin Energy brought the Chinchilla community together to raise awareness and promote men’s’ health and wellbeing, at the Chinchilla Men’s Shed.

Origin Energy’s executive general manager of integrated gas Mark Schubert said, more often than not men tend to push their mental health to the side, so it’s great to have an event where the issue can be talked about freely.

“Typically, men only ask for help when their partner tells them they need to, or when something happens which forces them to,” Mr Schubert said.

“We’re happy to help host this event today in conjunction with the CCCI to help dispel the stigma around mental and physical health, and to encourage both men and women to stay on top of their health and have regular open discussions with their health professionals.”

DURING a day of camaraderie and support, the CCCI and Origin Energy brought the Chinchilla community together to raise awareness and promote men's' health and wellbeing, at the Chinchilla Men's Shed. Pic: Peta McEachern
DURING a day of camaraderie and support, the CCCI and Origin Energy brought the Chinchilla community together to raise awareness and promote men's' health and wellbeing, at the Chinchilla Men's Shed. Pic: Peta McEachern

During his working career, CSEnergy’s manager of mining Brendan Davies, has had a keen eye for mentoring, coaching, and supporting people to achieve their goals.

Speaking from his personal experience with mental health, Mr Davies said, the severity, treatment and healing process is different for everyone - but the most important first step is to admit it, and talk about it.

“I have a particular focus on the wellbeing of my workers from a health perspective… I had a strong focus (on mental health) during inductions and toolbox talks on the matter, and would openly talk about mental health issues in the community,” he said.

The husband and father of three, said it was crucial for him to make sure his workers were aware of the mental health issues men in the industry face, and that they were able to voice their concerns any time.

“I would emphasise that there are lots of things that go on in people’s lives that can impact on them, their families, and their workmates... such as relationship issues, financial concerns, children, parents, and pets,” he said.

“In recent times within our industry there can also be a focus on FIFO situations or working for extended periods away from home, and the impacts that this can have from time to time – (but) I always maintained an open door policy if people wanted to discuss anything.

“I am very passionate about this issue and I know more people than you think, suffer from some form of mental health issues.”

SUPPORT: Men’s Shed president Richard Nixon and CCCI president Shannon McDermont. Pic: Peta McEachern
SUPPORT: Men’s Shed president Richard Nixon and CCCI president Shannon McDermont. Pic: Peta McEachern

Chinchilla Community Commerce and Industry president Shannon McDermont said as a business organisation, the CCCI recognises the importance of individuals mental health.

“As business owners, our members recognise their people as being the most valuable resources… supporting each other is one of the key areas where the CCCI focuses on,” he said.

Mr Davis said men who are struggling with their mental health need to remember that it’s normal, “you’re not abnormal, keep talking, don’t hind it, and stay focused on the positives.”

Sharing tips on what helped him through some of his darkest moments, Mr Davies said the following key factors are important to keep in mind:

  • Keep your mind active
  • Focus on what you enjoy
  • Be proud of your achievements
  • know that positive thoughts and focusing on how to talk yourself out of situations will work
  • Remain confident in yourself and your abilities
  • Keep Active
  • Talk to others – it’s the best remedy

On International Men’s Day 2020, Origin Energy and CCCI hosted an event which brought together the following organisations the raise awareness for men’s health; CSEnergy, Chinchilla Men’s Shed, Chinchilla State High School students, and Museum, Lions, and Rotary members.

If you or someone you know needs someone to talk to, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.