Event helps men

Hastings Leader - - News - BY BRENDA VOWDEN [email protected]

Work­ing with dads over the last two years has high­lighted the needs of many men in the com­mu­nity, says Kids Need Dads (KND) am­bas­sador Shayne Jef­fares.

In con­junc­tion with In­ter­na­tional Men's Day (Novem­ber 19), KND Hawke's Bay is plan­ning two events for or­gan­i­sa­tions and the wider com­mu­nity.

“In the last six months we have no­ticed an in­crease in en­quiries from men or their fam­i­lies seek­ing more in­for­ma­tion and call­ing for sup­port than ever be­fore. The pres­sure that many of our men are fac­ing, es­pe­cially with the cur­rent eco­nomic con­di­tions, is of real con­cern to me.”

Shayne says the fo­cus of the morn­ing event will be to en­cour­age those at­tend­ing to con­sider the needs of men ac­cess­ing health ser­vices and look­ing to col­lab­o­rate more around men's well­be­ing.

“As we know, men's part­ners and fam­i­lies also feel the eco­nomic and so­cial im­pacts of men's ill health.”

The event is open to all so­cial ser­vice providers and any­one want­ing to see bet­ter out­comes for men's well­be­ing. Shayne be­lieves Hawke's Bay is small enough so they can care a lot bet­ter for each other. The event will be a ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion with guest speak­ers Mal­colm By­ford, Kurt Fen­ton and Joe Whare, talk­ing around the topic Happy healthy Hawke's Bay men, how is it look­ing out there?

“As men, we hear and see the mes­sages, Men need to Talk, and with re­cent head­lines show­ing the sad re­al­ity within our own com­mu­ni­ties, we need to ask if this mes­sage work­ing.”

Shayne says KND, orig­i­nally a ‘go-to' for dads need­ing help dur­ing a re­la­tion­ship break­down, fills a gap in Hawke's Bay for many men. Their reach has now ex­tended to par­ent­ing and an­te­na­tal sup­port to new dads, which Shayne is keen to see in­crease.

Some of the sup­port men are af­ter might come through The Blokes Book ,a project Shayne has been work­ing on in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Can­ter­bury Men's Cen­tre, which will be in­tro­duced at the event.

It's a one-stop re­source book­let for men of all ages with a range of help ser­vices and contacts in­clud­ing tips for cop­ing with anx­i­ety, men­tal health, ad­dic­tion and par­ent­ing sup­port. The book will be dis­trib­uted in the com­mu­nity, clubs and work­places early next year, and is get­ting sup­port from com­mu­nity ser­vices, Shayne says.

“While fo­cus­ing on men's well­be­ing, it will also pro­vide in­for­ma­tion on start­ing a con­ver­sa­tion with some­one they care or are con­cerned about — lis­ten­ing is a good place to start.”

■ IMD/KND men’s event, Mon­day, Novem­ber 19, 10am-11am.

Bar­be­cue from 6.30pm with guest speaker Phillip Shee­han who opted out to lead an al­ter­na­tive, less stress­ful life.

Free for ev­ery­one, St An­drew’s Hall, 208 Mar­ket Street, Hast­ings. More in­for­ma­tion phone Shayne 021 813 877

PHOTO: PAUL TAY­LOR

Kids Need Dads man­ager Shayne Jef­fares, with Damian Cor­bett, and his daugh­ter Athena Cor­bett.

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