Impact of families losing their father prompts school to dedicate a month to men’s health

Principal John O’Brien wants the St Mary’s Catholic School community to celebrate healthy men in September.

“A few months ago, Alecia Kearny and Kasey-Lee Cowan visited me to have a little chat,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These mums lost their loving husband, and father to their children quite recently due to health reasons, in particular the heart.

“The impact this has had on them, their families, and our community is profound.”

Mr O’Brien said there were many more families in a similar situation.

That is why, the school will celebrate the importance of men in our lives, and ensure they are as healthy as can be, he said.

“A generalisation is that men are not great at going to the doctor, and they do not pay attention to their body and any health warning signs,” Mr O’Brien said.

“As men, we often feel the pressure of many things. The pressure to be the breadwinner, to protect our family and to show strength and keep going, even when feeling sick and weak.”

Men often hold their worries inside and are not comfortable speaking to others, and they sometimes express this in inappropriate and unhealthy ways, he said.

St Mary’s plans to put Casino men’s health on the radar.

“Our community is at its best when our men are at our best, our kids and families are flourishing when we have healthy males positively involved,” Mr O’Brien said.

September is the month it is all happening at St Mary’s in Casino.

● On Friday, September 8 and Friday, September 15 from 8am-8.45am, fathers, grandfathers, uncles and men are invited to a school breakfast and to play simple games with students.

● For Father’s Day, on Friday, September 1, from 2.30pm, the school will host Beer & Pies and have some healthy options available too. The day will include the opportunity to get a free blood pressure and sugar glucose test.

● A brochure will be sent to students’ home about how men can easily and discreetly access physical and mental health support.

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