The Men's Shed : Providing Biopsychosocial and Spiritual Support Academic Article uri icon


  • Community Men's Sheds (CMS) have been a unique approach within Australia for addressing and promoting men's health and well-being issues by providing biopsychosocial support. Given the decline of traditional religious influence, and the contemporary understanding of 'spirituality', it can be argued that CMS may also develop and demonstrate characteristics of a communal spirituality. This research aimed to explore the individual and community contribution of CMS in terms of men's health and well-being and subsequently whether CMS programmes satisfied the contemporary and consensus understanding of spirituality. A qualitative case study was undertaken combining both participant observation over a 6-month period and semi-structured in-depth interviews with 21 men of varying ages and occupations attending a Melbourne suburban CMS (Victoria, Australia). Thematic analysis indicated that the CMS provided a number of health and well-being benefits at individual, family, community and public health levels. These included increased self-esteem and empowerment, respite from families, a sense of belonging in the community and the opportunity to exchange ideas relating to personal, family, communal and public health issues. It is concluded that CMS, through the provision of an appropriate spatial context and organizational activities, encourage intra-personal and inter-personal reflection and interaction that subsequently results in men meaningfully, purposefully and significantly connecting with the moment, to self, to others and to their environment-and thus, CMS not only provides biopsychosocial support but can also deliver spiritual support.

publication date

  • 2015

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