A big thanks to Brian Emanuel and Jim Jenkins from MT129 Orange for volunteering their time to represent The Men’s Table at the Suicide Prevention Forum held in Orange.
Here’s what Brian had to say about the day:
“First of all, I would like to thank Jim Jenkins for giving his time to assist on the day at very short notice. Our other volunteer tested positive to COVID on Sunday so Jim postponed leaving on his trip to Victoria & made himself available for the Forum.
A great example of the fundamental ‘Commitment to Community’ & being there for each other.
With all our other Table members being full-time at work, it would have meant I had to man the stall on my own.
It was a learning experience on the day for Jim & myself with the information detailed by all the guest speakers.
We had great discussions with a number of attendees who showed a lot of interest in The Men’s Table and all it stands for. As the Forum was a gathering of 200 people in the LHD, most of those seeking the information were looking at alternatives for some of their clients.
They expressed their concerns about the men’s health issues in regional towns and how there is limited access to any form of ‘relaxed’ help, as opposed to formal professional help.
During our discussions, the key elements they were most impressed with were the two fundamentals ‘Safe & Confidential’ (as this is something that is crucial to most of the men in their town) and ‘We Don’t Just Talk Footy & Sh*t’ (which was a big hit on the day as their clients need more than those conversations, they need to be heard).
We handed out information leaflets and contact details for The Men’s Table to people from Orange, Bathurst, Parkes, Forbes, Narromine, Brewarrina and Bourke after some quite detailed discussions.
Quite interestingly, the person from Orange informed us (with a bit of frustration) that they have been trying for a while to contact us but could not find the Orange branch details on the website. After we explained the system of joining a Table and no visitors to ensure the ‘Safe & Confidential’ fundamental for Table members, they were very understanding and even more accepting of the process.
We hope as volunteers that we did enough to promote The Men’s Table, and helped those attendees who are very keen to have one in their town for their men to benefit from it as much as we have, even if it’s just to meet one or two new friends.”