Criterion hosting mental health initiative

The Criterion Hotel in Sale will hold a community event around men's mental health. Photo: Tom Parry

AN initiative aiming to destigmatise mental illness among men is making its way to Sale.

The Criterion Hotel will be hosting a Men’s Table ‘entrée’ event next Monday, and the community is being invited to join.

The event is being supported by the philanthropic arm of fund manager Cooper Investors.

According to Philanthropy Manager, Nicole Engelman, the initiative was brought to Cooper Investors’ attention by The Men’s Table’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Anthony Garnham.

“Anthony had asked around a number of other organisations about mental health funding,” Ms Engelman explained.

“It’s certainly something that we were focused on pre-pandemic at Cooper Investors – we knew that mental health was a really pressing issue – and then certainly throughout the pandemic and then (after), we’ve become more focused on it.

“It’s a core area for us around early intervention and prevention techniques.”

One of those early intervention techniques involves building a community for men to connect and engage with.

Philanthropy Manager at Cooper Investors, Nicole Engelman
Photo: Contributed

“We find that the evidence is there from many studies that once people have a connection with others, the mental ill-health pathway that they may travel down – or the mental unwellness – becomes less so, because they’re … talking to people that can direct them into a place where they can access services and support before it hits crisis mode,” Ms Engelman said.

She further noted that rural and regional areas are underfunded and lacking services when it comes to early intervention programs: “We were particularly keen to fund Men’s Table in Sale to assist with increasing the quality and quantity of community-based support services operating in rural and regional Victoria.”

Founded in 2011, The Men’s Table is a non-profit organisation helping men build meaningful male friendships by creating safe places to share, overcoming the stigma that “men don’t talk”.

Sale’s first Men’s Table event will be held Monday, May 15 from 6.30pm at the Criterion Hotel.

The event is planned to be the first of many in Sale – if the entrée proves successful, other Men’s Table events will be scheduled.

Bookings are essential and places are limited.

For further information and to make a booking, visit themenstable.org/sale-15-may/