The Men’s Table creates a unique, safe environment for men to share openly about their lives, their challenges, their highs and lows.
The first Men’s Table began in 2011 with twelve men who have met once a month for dinner ever since. The Men’s Table is a unique environment for men to share openly about their lives, their challenges, their highs and lows with a group of men who they learn to trust and respect. The Men’s Table creates a sense of belonging, community, peer support and camaraderie that is lacking for many men, even for some who already have a group of mates.
6 men per day suicide in Australia with thousands in crisis, 1 in 4 suffer loneliness and isolation, and the majority feel restricted in expressing emotions due to unhelpful masculine norms.
We offer a low cost preventative model that is a peer led, accessible community for men where they can share and be heard whilst developing emotional intelligence and resilience. Healthy men with healthy masculinity enable healthy communities.
Ben Hughes & David Pointon, the two co-founders are members of the original Men’s Table and previously self-employed for 25+ years each. In January 2019, we began introducing the concept and the foundations of an effective Table to other men and we now have 37 Tables and over 400 men experiencing the benefits every month with 5 more Tables launching imminently.
Tables are founded on guidelines we call the Fundamentals and Safety Net, which ensure the Table is a safe place to share and be heard, by emphasizing listening and not fixing and sharing feelings about the man’s life rather than their views on the world. We encourage diversity of members at the Table which fosters tolerance and empathy. Tables are held together by the commitment of each man to his Table community. Once a man is a regular Table member, we invite them to “Step into men’s work” and serve other men. Our volunteer development program began in February 2021 with 27 men, as our first step toward building a volunteer based organisation.
The Men’s Table model is affirmed by research evidence. In 2020, The National Mental Health Commission commissioned us to produce a Model of Care which outlines the impact of the Table program on men and the wider community. This is available for download from our website.