DROP IN: Men's Shed members Geoff Newlands, Steve Davis, John Styles and Kev Armstrong are encouraging farmers to communicate.
DROP IN: Men's Shed members Geoff Newlands, Steve Davis, John Styles and Kev Armstrong are encouraging farmers to communicate. Liana Walker

Encouraging men to open up about the drought

THERE is plenty of talk about how the drought is impacting families financially, but Kev Armstrong from the Men's Shed wants to start the conversation about how it is impacting residents' mental health.

The not-for-profit group is a place where men can come together to talk about whatever topics they want and Mr Armstrong believes having the ability to open up could save lives.

"Some people who have come to this shed certainly attribute their better mental health to being able to come here,” he said.

"If you look at who the members of our shed are it's a lot of guys who weren't originally from here so they don't have family support and they're all in the isolated bits. They've socially isolated themselves through their geography.”

Although Mr Armstrong hasn't had a new influx of people come in yet, he was concerned there were isolated farmers in the region struggling and who could use the companionship.

"There's anecdotal evidence that there is at the moment.

"It could be easily an unseen issue, but it could be we aren't quite where the other areas are.”

Mr Armstrong said even just spending an hour at the shed could make a huge positive impact during tough times.

The Men's Shed is located at Stanthorpe Showgrounds behind the Wine Pavilion and is open 8am - 12pm Monday - Friday with meet and greets on Wednesdays.

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