You've heard of The Men's Shed? How about The Men's Table?
In 2011, a group of men decided to have dinner with the intention of having a place to connect with other men, and talk about the highs and lows of their lives.
They've been meeting once a month ever since to talk, laugh and share about what's going on for them, and have forged meaningful relationships based on trust and acceptance of each other.
That's The Men's Table, a now national peer support community organisation which became a charity in 2019.
Regional host Michael Collins said the simple act of giving men an opportunity to meet for a meal once a month helped them to build meaningful friendships.
"Contrary to what might be common thinking, our research tells us that men are in fact actively looking for opportunities to connect with other men, and they are talking about their feelings and emotions given the right circumstances," Mr Collins said.
"Sitting at a table and talking with other men helps us feel comfortable about overturning those outdated masculine norms; always fixing things ourselves, hiding emotions, holding back tears and fears - none of these behaviours are helpful to any man."
And funding from two Canberra organisations, Communities at Work and The Snow Foundation, is bringing the concept to the national capital.
"We know that belonging to a table positively impacts men's emotional and mental wellbeing, and it has a ripple effect into the other relationships in their lives," Mr Collins said. "Sharing those benefits with the Canberra community is exciting."
A Men's Table Entree is an introduction to how a table works and is an opportunity for local men to come together, meet other men and decide if joining a table is for them.
The Canberra North Entree will be held on Tuesday, August 16 between 6.30pm and 9pm at Eastlake Football Club, Gungahlin.
Registrations are essential and cover the cost of your meal and a drink.
For more details or to register, visit themenstable.org/canberra-north.
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