Bundaberg has been selected for a proactive pilot program called MATE sessions to address men's mental health issues.
MATE sessions use an innovative approach to tackle issues with men’s mental health before they get to a point of crisis.
Founder of MATE sessions Tai Burgess said the program aims to educate men about a range of mental health issues within a fun, relaxed and supportive environment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging men to engage with support services earlier, thereby reducing the duration and severity of symptoms.
“MATE sessions are about providing an opportunity where men feel safe and relaxed enough to engage with other men and relevant support services before they feel things are getting out of their control,” he said.
The first MATE sessions program will take place on Sunday, 23 February at 9am at Crossfit United, 3/38 Electra Street Bundaberg, at a cost of $20 per person for each session.
Bookings for the pilot program can be made online at the MATE sessions website.
Tai said the MATE sessions’ format is innovative and engaging.
“Each session begins with a scalable high intensity interval training session and is followed by an informal information session, which provides men with knowledge about topics such as recognising the signs of depression, what PTSD is and tips on how to engage their friends in meaningful conversations about their mental health,” he said.
Exercise and nutrition key elements
“Exercise and nutrition are key elements to men’s health, both physically and mentally, so we’ve paired exercise and a healthy refreshment in our Sessions.”
MATE sessions takes a holistic approach to their mission and has partnered with a range of health and wellness services.
In Bundaberg the men's mental health MATE sessions will include information on nutrition, physiotherapy, financial advice, fitness and food services.
MATE sessions currently receives no external funding and relies heavily on word-of-mouth to raise awareness of their program.
“It is important that everyone shares their knowledge of MATE sessions,” he said.
“We can’t help people if we can’t reach them and we encourage everyone in Bundaberg to spread the word and consider men who might benefit from the MATE sessions we’re running later this month.”
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