Mort Shearer - Colloquium 27/04/2012
|Topic:||Observations and learnings from time spent volunteering in Mens Sheds and suicide prevention|
|Presenter:||Mort Shearer, Australian Mens Shed Association|
Friday, 27 April, 2012
|Locations:||Lecture Hall D350 (Coffs Harbour campus)|
Video-linked to Lecture Hall P158 (Lismore campus) and to A223 (Tweed Heads Gold Coast Riverside campus)
|About the colloquium:|
Mental health and suicide prevention remain largely unsolved issues in our society. While Government at both Federal and State levels are now starting to allocate resources, they appear to be finding it hard to cope with the size of the current problems and have little left over for the important area of prevention.
The intensely personal nature of these issues - and the social stigma that surrounds them - means that it is often very difficult to reach out to groups who may be at risk, especially the men who represent such a large proportion of suicides.
It is clear that innovative and low-key approaches can achieve results and much good work is being done in these areas by not-for-profit organisations at community level, particularly Mens Sheds and Community-based Suicide Prevention Networks. These activities are low cost and have the additional advantage of increasing the sense of community which, of itself, is a protective factor and helps to build community capacity and resilience. These community initiatives offer real benefits and need more research, more volunteers and more resources to improve their approach and to realise their potential.
|About the speaker:|
Mort Shearer is a businessman who retired to Port Macquarie some 10 years ago. Since then he has been working in a voluntary capacity primarily in Mens Sheds and Suicide Prevention.
He became heavily involved in developing a model for Community-based Suicide Prevention Networks and started a number of these Networks in NSW before turning his attention to Mens Sheds as a practical way of attacking the issue. Mort has no formal health training, but he received strong support and mentoring from a range of health professionals and leading academics including Professor John Macdonald of UWS and Associate Professors Rick van der Zwan of SCU and Barry Golding of Ballarat Uni.
Mort was the inaugural National President of the Australian Mens Shed Association. He is a Director of Hastings Mens Shed and of ACES Inc. and is Chair of Lifeline Mid Coast.
Updated: 13 March 2013