13 June 2024


At 63 years old, David from Oaklands Park is a quiet but positive advocate for mental health – with his hobbies, and the connections he has formed through them, playing a key part in ‘keeping him going’ through a difficult period in his life.

In 2019, David lost his wife. During this time, David found solace in his many interests – one of these being regular walks with the Oaklands Park Walking Group.

“When my wife passed in 2019, I made sure I had a broad range of interests that stopped me from going completely to pieces,” he said. “The walking group was a good way to exercise and meet some people closer to home.”

He believes that it is important not to isolate yourself during difficult times, even if you may want to, and to find activities you enjoy doing.

“I think if you’re feeling lonely, or like you need to do a bit more activity – it’s a good idea to reach out and join a group of some kind."

“Even if it doesn’t work out long term it’s still a good starting point,” David said.

Alongside the walking group, David is also a member of several model train clubs – another great passion of his.

“Building a model from scratch makes me zone out a bit, you have to use your imagination and really think about how to make the scenes, that’s why it’s good for my brain and keeps me busy,” he said.

“Through the model train clubs, I have met a lot of people and made solid friendship circles that feel like family now and they really support me.”

David attributes his resilience to the support networks he has built through his interests.

 “The pandemic came along only 6 months after my wife passed, and shortly after that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, so that really compounded my misery, because I couldn’t go to the model train shows and my mind really suffered,” he said. “I made it through by the support of the people around me.”

Now, 5 years on, David is still an active participant in these groups – and he plans to continue well into the future.

“I will continue to be a part of these different groups in my future. I really like participating in them all and it makes me feel good.”

Men’s Health Week (10-16 June) is celebrated every year around the world. It is an opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health and men’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

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