Former Wimmera Local to Host Men’s Mental Health Event at Town Hall

For former Wimmera local Aaron Schultz, addressing the mental health issues facing men living in rural areas is more than an adopted passion – it’s a lived experience.

Aaron’s charity The Outback Mind Foundation bloomed from his own experiences collected across two decades managing large teams of men in construction, mining and manufacturing, and a decade working in the health and corrections systems. Aaron realised he was seeing the beginnings and resulting effects of poor mental health, which he recognised from his own experiences – as well as those of close friends, some of whom are no longer with us by their own hand.

“We have to look at mental health through a preventative lens,” Aaron explains of his approach, “so guys can start to recognise risky emotional patterns, and know how to change them.”

Aaron now runs a series of highly successful “men’s circles” across the region, including a fortnightly event in Horsham regularly attended by 15 – 20 men along with mental health professionals and social workers.

Next week, he’ll be bringing Ararat Town Hall its first men’s mental health event from The Outback Mind.

The aim of the 90-minute meeting is to open a conversation around emotional literacy – the ability to recognise, understand, and appropriately express emotions. The event promotes an inclusive environment; while the focus is on men’s mental health, women are encouraged to attend as partners and allies to the men in their lives.

“We get all kinds of attendees, from all socio-economic backgrounds,” Aaron says. “But everyone deserves that sense of safety and self-worth.”

The evening will include a screening of 2023 documentary Healing Men’s Minds, the critically acclaimed film directed by Stuart McKay. It features a range of men talking about their mental health journeys, from Aaron and his experiences in the Wimmera region, to former Brisbane Broncos star Darius Boyd.

Aaron hopes the session will result in the establishment of a regular, free “men’s circle” for our community. “We want to help men gain – and maintain – good mental health,” he says. “It’s about emotional self-awareness, and being proactive rather than reactive.”

Book your free seat here, and watch the trailer for Healing Men’s Minds here.

DATE: Tuesday 28 May 2024

TIME: 6.30pm

VENUE: Ararat Town Hall

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