Hope springs with new initiative

Adam PoulsenMidwest Times
A group of men at the first Man Up Monday in Three Springs last month. Organisers say more than 60 attended.
Camera IconA group of men at the first Man Up Monday in Three Springs last month. Organisers say more than 60 attended. Credit: Stu Irwin

The call has gone out to the men of Three Springs: “Man up — and open up”.

With the spotlight increasingly on men’s health — particularly in rural Australia — blokes have begun gathering monthly to talk in an informal setting.

Dubbed Man Up Monday, the new initiative is already proving a positive force in the small town.

More than 60 men attended the first event last month, with another strong turnout this week.

Organiser and officer-in-charge at Three Springs Police Station, Sergeant Vance Davison said he hoped Man Up Monday would help address depression and isolation in the community.

“Unfortunately we had another male die by suicide a couple of months ago,” he said.

“That brought the total in Three Springs to four in two years, so we felt we needed to do something for the men in the community.

“We’ve tried to do sit-downs and lectures before, and in all honesty, we had nobody attend.

“So we needed to do something a little bit outside the box.”

For those who attend, an attraction is the opportunity to enjoy “the three Bs”: banter, barbecue (free), and beer (BYO).

Salad, women, children, and speeches and lectures are forbidden.

“We do this to encourage men to get off the tractors, out of the farm, and come together in an informal setting to have a catch-up,” Sgt Davison said.

“If you want to talk about footy, if you want to talk about farming, if you just want to talk a bit of whatever, that’s fine.

Despite Man Up Monday being a “boys only” affair, Sgt Davison said all the community were on-board.

“The wives and partners were very supportive as well,” he said.

“They still have the same problems that men have, but I think women can communicate a little bit better than guys can, so we needed to tailor the event for men only.”

Monday’s gathering was the last of 2019, though plans are under way for Man Up Monday to return on the first Monday of February.

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