Recommended Reading

The Men’s Shed movement is the “Social Health Care Innovation” men need.
There is a lot of great research available supporting this claim. Below are several examples:

University of Alberta
Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities

April 2023

Thus far, the academic research completed on Men's Shedsis nearly unanimous with respect to the positive benefits for men who participate. In summary, Men's Sheds provide opportunities for participants to make new friends, contribute to their community, enhance their sense of belonging, provide a sense of structure to their lives, and talk openly about their ongoing concerns. In the process, men have frequently benefited from the positive outcomes related to their overall physical
and mental health. However, most of these studies have focussed on Sheds in urban settings.

Rural areas across Canada continue to lack adequate mental health resources and support for non-urban residents. In addition, rural citizens, especially older men, are often more reluctant to access mental health resources than their urban counterparts that do exist. This is problematic given that rurality is one of the most prevalent risk factors for suicide and other mental health issues.

Given these realities, this study was designed to evaluate the impacts and effectiveness of twoMen's Sheds in rural Alberta, with an overarching interest in whether Men's Sheds represent an effective, community-based form of support for participants that rural municipalities ought to be supporting.

Through the analysis of twelve semi-structured, in-depth interviews we completed with participants from Men's Sheds in Cold Lake and Camrose, Alberta, we demonstrate that Shed participants enjoy a wide range of clear mental health benefits, related especially to the positive outcomes associated with the Camaraderie, the Sense of Inclusion, and the Sense of Belonging they experience as active members of these sheds.

Although Men's Sheds should not be viewed as a panacea for the complex and widespread problem that a lack of proper mental health support presents for rural communities, given these clear results, we assert that supporting the formation of new Men's Sheds throughout rural areas represents a worthwhile investment in the mental health of a group of vulnerable citizens on behalf of rural municipalities and provincial governments.

Where's the Proof?

Men's Shed Ottawa Centre's web page collection of proof of Shedder's assertions

Men’s Sheds: Men Helping Men

November 5, 2019 By Wendy Haaf

Published Books by Barry Golding

For those who want a deep dive, there are two books edited by Barry Golding.

Each is over 400 pages long.

We know of no other source more complete or authoritative.

Evidence Based Research on Men's Shed effectiveness (Australia)

Formal intergenerational mentoring at Australian Men’s Sheds: a targeted survey about mentees, mentors, programmes and quality

Over 1000 Men’s Sheds operate in Australia, with 39% providing mentoring mainly to youth. Yet, little is known about the variables intrinsic to creating and running quality programmes. This study aimed to identify the characteristics of formal intergenerational mentoring programmes, review their quality against the Australian Youth Mentoring Network (AYMN) quality benchmarks, and identify the
factors that predict quality in these programmes.

Informing health promotion in rural men’s sheds

Examine participant health status, concerns, interests, knowledge and behaviours to ensure that health promotion activities offered to men in sheds are appropriate and effective. It is important to understand better the health status, concerns, knowledge and health-seeking behaviours of shed members and their preferences for garnering health-related information.

Community-based Men’s Sheds: promoting male health, wellbeing and social inclusion in an international context

Males experience greater mortality and morbidity than females in most Western countries. The Australian and Irish National Male Health Policies aim to develop a framework to address this gendered health disparity. Men’s Sheds have a distinct community development philosophy. They are thus identified in both policies as an ideal location to address social isolation and positively impact the health and well-being of males who attend. This international cross-sectional survey aimed to gather information about Men’s Sheds, the people who attend Men’s Sheds, the activities at Men’s Sheds, and the social and health dimensions of Men’s Sheds.

Results demonstrate that Men’s Sheds contribute a dual health and social role for various male subgroups. In particular, Men’s Sheds have an outward social focus, supporting the social and mental health needs of men; health promotion and health literacy are key features of Men’s Sheds. Men’s Sheds have an important role in addressing the gendered health disparity that males face. They serve as an exemplar to health promotion professionals of a community development context where the aims of male health policy can be actualized as one part of a more comprehensive suite of global initiatives to reduce the gendered health disparity.

Keywords: men’s health promotion; health literacy; preventative health care; masculinity; participation; social inclusion

A narrative review of Men’s Sheds literature: reducing social isolation and promoting men’s health and well-being

Men’s Sheds are community-based organizations that typically provide a space for older men to participate in meaningful occupations such as woodwork. Men’s Sheds are considered an exemplar for promoting men’s health and well-being by health and social policy-makers. This literature review aimed to determine the state of the science about the potential for Men’s Sheds to promote male health and well-being.

Between October 2011 and February 2012, we conducted searches of databases, the grey literature and manual searches of websites and reference lists. We found five reports and 19 articles about Men’s Sheds. Most of the literature has emanated from Australian academics and is about older men’s learning in community contexts. There is a limited body of research literature about Men’s Sheds, consisting of either descriptive surveys or small qualitative studies. The range of variables that might contribute towards best practice in Men’s Sheds has not yet been adequately conceptualized, measured, tested or understood.

Future research should be focussed on the health and well-being benefits of Men’s Sheds; it needs to incorporate social determinants of health and well-being within the study designs to enable comparison against other health promotion research. Without this research focus, there is a danger that the potential health and well-being benefits of Men’s Sheds as supportive and socially inclusive environments for health will not be incorporated into future male health policy and practice.

Keywords: disability, masculinity, meaningful occupation, mentoring, men’s health and well-being, social inclusion

Men’s Sheds function and philosophy: towards a framework for future research and men’s health promotion

The issue addressed: The Men’s Shed movement supports a range of men’s health promotion initiatives. This paper examines whether a Men’s Shed typology could inform future research and enable more efficient and targeted health promotion activities through Men’s Sheds.

Methods: The International Men’s Shed Survey was a cross-sectional exploration of sheds, their members, and health and social activities. Survey data about shed ‘function’ and ‘philosophy’ were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

Results: A framework of Men’s Sheds based on function and philosophy demonstrated that most sheds serve a primary utility function, a secondary social function, and, most importantly, a primary social opportunity philosophy. Sheds with a primary health philosophy participated in fewer health promotion activities when compared with sheds without a primary health philosophy. Conclusions: Besides the uniform health promotion resources distributed by the Men’s Shed associations, specific health promotion activities, such as prostate education, are being initiated from an individual shed level. This framework can potentially enable future research and health promotion activities to be more efficiently and effectively targeted.

So what? Men experience poorer health and well-being outcomes than women. This framework offers a novel approach to providing targeted health promotion activities to men in an environment where it is okay to talk about men’s health.

Keywords: men’s health promotion, masculinity, social inclusion.

Intergenerational mentoring at Men’s Sheds: A feasibility study

Background: This study reports on the feasibility of an intergenerational mentoring programme for youth with intellectual disabilities (ID) aimed at developing skills and building networks.

Methods: Youth with ID were paired with older male mentors who were trained to support the mentee's participate in activities and social interactions during weekly sessions. We interviewed the mentees and mentors and assessed them on a range of outcomes using standardized measures.

Results: Interviews highlighted that the programme presented a great “opportunity” for the mentees and mentors. The participants described facilitators and challenges to the acquisition of practical skills by mentees and the development of relationships between mentors and mentees, including communication, transportation and mentor training. The youth with ID had difficulty completing the self-report measures. Conclusions: Mentoring programmes are viable to support youth with ID during the transition to adulthood; however, refinement is required in the rollout out of a pilot intervention.

Keywords: active support, employment, intellectual disability, Men’s Sheds, mentoring, social inclusion

Men’s Sheds and the experience of depression in older Australian men

Depression is a serious psycho-social illness that leads to lower quality of life and greater cardiovascular mortality in men. Depression is the combined presence of a depressive mood as well as loss of interest or pleasure for a prolonged period of time. Relevant to this article is the distinct difference in how depression presents across gendered lines; while the diagnosis of depression is doubled in women when compared to men, rates of suicide are significantly higher in men, with men over the age of 75 having the second highest suicide rate in Australia. These population statistics suggest that depression is likely under-diagnosed in men. This may be attributed to stereotypical views of masculinity and the reluctance of men to seek appropriate services. Further, there is a higher suicide rate for men from regional and remote areas which can be attributed to lower socioeconomic status, limited access to mental health services and differences in migrant composition.

Stacks Image 4485571

In collaboration with Age UK, the Older Men at the Margins project identified ways of alleviating loneliness and reducing isolation for older men (65+ years of age) across hard-to-reach and seldom-heard groups. This included older men who are single or living alone in urban and rural areas; older gay men who are single or living alone; older men with hearing loss; and older men who are carers for significant others (family members, partners).

Between 2017 and 2018, 111 men (65-95 years of age) from the above groups across the south west and west of England took part in interviews and shared their experiences of combatting loneliness and social isolation in later life. The overall aim was to better understand the waysin which marginalised or seldom-heard groups of older men seek to maintain social engagement and social participation in later life. This included participation in groups targeted at reducing loneliness and social isolation. The research identified ways in which social care and community- based services could take better account of the social wellbeing of older men.This guidance sets out the learning from our research and highlights important factors to be considered to meet the diverse needs of older men through group programmes and interventions. It will be of use to professionals and services who wish to set up groups, or who are already running groups for older people.

© 2022 Kevin Ford

This website uses cookies that help the website to function and also to track how you interact with our website. If you continue using this site, we will assume you are happy with it.