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)

North Okanagan 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

Particularly dear to our family are Bud and Diane, just next door. Photo MCC.
Wonderful neighbours are one of Princeton’s best gifts

There are many lovely people living in our little corner of Princeton’s… Continue reading

Movie crews filmed a holiday parade in Summerland in July. The parade, filmed on Main Street in Summerland, is for the movie, The Christmas Yule Blog. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Princeton Town Hall and the visitor centre are closed for two weeks while staff continue to work - everybody wearing a mask. 
(Andrea DeMeer - Spotlight)
Princeton town hall and the visitors centre are closed for two weeks, while staff continue to work - everybody wearing a mask. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Princeton mayor urges residents to follow COVID rules

Town hall and visitors centre closed for two weeks during pandemic’s second wave

Dentice di Frasso, a member of Italian nobility, once owned land in Summerland. (Contributed)
Italian nobility family once lived in Summerland

Dentice di Frasso and his family owned land in the Prairie Valley area

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

(Randy Mills/@poohbah431111 - Twitter)
Motorcyclist rushed to Kelowna General Hospital after collision

The collision occurred around 7:15 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 33 and Gerstmar Road

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community in Vernon self-isolating at home; parents alerted Nov. 28

Most Read