Local not for profit, Rural Alive & Well (RAW) has partnered with The Men’s Table in a commitment to create more spaces within rural Tasmania where men can have a place to connect with other men, and talk about the highs and lows of their lives.
Ben Hughes, co-founder of The Men’s Table and recent Launceston resident said, "Men need a place where they can just talk to other men, not just about footy and shit, about what is really going on. We set up communities of men called ‘Tables’ where men can support each other and be supported. We have four Tables in Launceston, one in George Town and are now looking to start Tables in the north of Tassie and then work south."
Through the partnership, RAW’s Community manager Kristy Mayne, is hopeful that conversations around mental health for men become normalised in a practical and tangible way. “The Men’s Table programs aligns closely with the work RAW does across Tasmania in rural communities. RAW is passionate about helping to break down obstacles which exist in people’s lives, so they can engage in real, genuine, honest and ultimately… RAW Conversations.
As a team we love the work Ben is doing and the impact each group is having. If we can help create more tables and make it more accessible for men to be providing with a connection point within their communities, then we know we can be making more of an impact within our rural and remote communities.”
Ms Mayne said that after prolonged periods of isolation throughout COVID, initiatives like The Men’s Table were crucial to ensuring people re-connected and continue to re-build social norms and habits which may have lacked over the last two years due to lockdowns and restrictions. “Connection is a critical factor when it comes to individuals maintaining positive mental and physical wellbeing and is a key protective factor for anxiety and depression.”
“RAW is excited to be on the front foot partnering with The Men’s Table to create Tables filled with like-minded people, in a safe non-judgemental setting and without any set agendas other than being present in the moment.”
PICTURED ABOVE Left to Right: Kristy Mayne, RAW Community Manager, Terry Howe, RAW Country Worker, Shayne Stevenson, RAW Operations Manager, Ben Hughes, CEO & Founder of The Men’s Table
Rural Alive & Well (RAW) is a Tasmanian not-for-profit organisation providing specialised one-on-one, psychosocial mental health support to build mentally healthy and resilient rural communities and reduce the prevalence of suicide. RAW offers these services to individuals, families and communities without cost and no wait times.
The Men’s Table is a national organisation with 60 Tables across Australia. The first Table was started in 2011 and is still meeting. The Men’s Table contributes to the emotional and social well-being of men whilst being a powerful support to individual members who get to sit in a community of men. If you would like more information on how to join or start a Table, please contact Ben Hughes email@example.com 0424 993 366