Lakeside Men's Shed granted state government funds to engage isolated community members, reduce suicide rate

The Men's Shed at Milang has received state government funding for its weekly barbecues, which bring isolated members of the community together. Photo: File.
The Men's Shed at Milang has received state government funding for its weekly barbecues, which bring isolated members of the community together. Photo: File.

The Lakeside Men's Shed is one of 20 non-government organisations receiving funding through the SA Suicide Prevention Community Grants Scheme.

The Men's Shed, in Milang, is a place for men and their partners to gather, make connections, and put their skills to use.

Each week they host a barbecue to engage socially isolated community members and bring them together.

The weekly event has proved popular over the last two years and given locals a chance to engage with the community in a fun and relaxing way, like many of the other initiatives at the shed.

The Men's Shed has received $8600 through the grants scheme, run by the state government, to continue hosting their barbecues.

The grants scheme aims to reduce the state's suicide rate and give local organisations access to funds so they can run projects to raise awareness of the issue, break down stigma, and increase connections within communities that can save lives. Applicants showed how the new or existing projects addressed an identified need in the area, and recipients were given between $2500 and $10,000 to use in 2019-20.

Premier's Advocate for Suicide Prevention and Member of the Legislative Council John Dawkins was "pleased to see a wide variety of initiatives receive funding".

"Suicide has far-reaching consequences throughout communities," he said.

"Projects which are tailored to the needs of local communities deliver the most effective outcomes, by supporting vulnerable individuals and those bereaved by suicide."

Department for Health and Wellbeing chief psychiatrist Dr John Brayley said a wide range of groups and clubs applied and showed willingness to work within their communities to reduce stigma and increase awareness.

"Increased awareness about suicide can then enable those in distress to seek the help they require when they need it most," Dr Brayley said.

This story Barbecues roast loneliness first appeared on The Times.