The Canadian Mental Health Association – Vernon & District Branch celebrated the addition of Men’s Shed to its programs Tuesday night at the CMHA Vernon Branch Conference Room. (CMHA photo)

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Vernon & District Branch celebrated the addition of Men’s Shed to its programs Tuesday night at the CMHA Vernon Branch Conference Room. (CMHA photo)

Vernon men build camaraderie, support

Men’s Shed joins forces with CMHA for projects

The Canadian Mental Health Association – Vernon & District Branch celebrated the addition of Men’s Shed to its programs Tuesday night at the CMHA Vernon Branch Conference Room.

Men’s Shed Vernon started two years ago by a group of senior men who saw the need for socialization and productivity for local men in retirement. This September, the group formally partnered with CMHA Vernon as one of the organization’s program offerings.

“We are excited to partner with Men’s Shed to bring greater awareness of senior men’s mental health to the community and provide a space and opportunity for senior men to thrive with purpose,” said Julia Payson, CMHA Vernon Executive Director.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Men’s Shed build women gazebo

According to a 2017 BC Coroner’s report males accounted for 75 per cent of suicide deaths that year. The highest age-specific suicide death rate was among 50 to 59-year-old males.

“When men reach retirement age, they often find themselves socially isolated. Men’s Shed is about connecting men to each other and to the larger community,” said Payson.

With a mission to build meaning and well-being in men’s lives by engaging hands, hearts and minds, Men’s Shed members come from a variety of backgrounds and interests to work on individual and community projects. They have built tables for a youth camp, a gazebo for a women’s shelter, refinished benches for a nature centre and refurbished a sailboat.

Members also build benches, toys and have recently been supplying a local sign maker with wooden lettering. Men’s Shed is hoping to establish a social enterprise to help fund the group.

The group has also partnered with the Vernon Community School to mentor students. One of their current projects has one of the members working with a student to build a custom guitar.

“This is important to give back and to inject some youthful vitality into the group,” said founding member Ray Verlage.

Verlage says he hopes to see significant growth over the next five years, aiming for a membership of 300 senior men sharing their skills and working together to improve their health and well-being while benefiting the community with purposeful projects.

“We want to build Men’s Shed as a destination for guys in Vernon who are really living,” he said.

Initial funding has come from the Community Foundation of the North Okanagan, a federal government grant and individual donors. Local businesses have offered support including Elephant Storage who provides free space and equipment, and Fishers Hardware who provide discounted tools and supplies.

Men’s Shed meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Elephant Storage, 6136 Okanagan Ave. For more information, www.mensshedvernon.ca.

READ MORE: Making spirits bright for Vernon seniors


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

Vernon Girl Guide Mabel Smith sells cookies to staff at Watkin Motors Ford prior to the suspension of sales. (Facebook Photo)
Vernon Ford dealership shines with diamond award, again

Watkin Motors earns Ford of Canada president’s award for superior customer service

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are beginning to look into the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)
South Okanagan leaders team up to get ball rolling on regional aquatic centre

Oliver and Osoyoos have long expressed desire for a year-round indoor aquatic centre

Most Read