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Haven Hub ‘Lads Shed’ aims to bring hope to men who may have lost it



Lads Shed – members pictured at the launch night of the peer support project.

The project aims to show men the activities they can be involved in to improve their mental health

Mens Sheds
The Lads Shed is inspired by Men’s Sheds, which offers support for men

At its launch on Wednesday, May 25, the Lads Shed project, under the stewardship of the Haven Hub, opened its doors to men, young and old across the city and county.

The project aims to show them that there’s a wealth of activities that they can be involved in to improve their mental and physical health. They can gain a wider variety of social skills and also get training in distress tolerance and emotional regulation, something that’s widely regarded as being a bit taboo for men in society.


Haven Hub founder and Chairperson Leona O’Callaghan, said, “The Haven Hub Lads Shed partnership aims to bring hope to those who may have lost it. The statistics show the high suicide rate we have in Limerick and almost 80% of those that die through suicide are men. Men deserve support in a safe environment, so we started this Haven Hub Lads Shed project for men who may feel that they want an alternative to the DIY/Gardening sheds that are already doing amazing work.

“It’s peer support through shared life experiences, wellness courses, activities that enhance our mental health and a bit of Irish craic over a cup of tea that has the ability to make us all feel better. We women tend to meet for coffee and tea, ring each other for support and may find it easier to reach out. Some men struggle with getting their needs met in the emotional support needed to face life’s challenges. Jake, Pat, Michael and Brian all bring strong and compassionate personalities to the team that will no doubt make the Lads Shed a great success and an asset of Limerick.”

Speaking also at the launch was Lads Shed Co-Ordinator and Haven Hub’s acting director for Media and PR, Pat Doran who commented, “Mental Health is a term that is loosely thrown about and covers a wide spectrum of disorders. From Depression to PTSD, everything between and beyond. Loneliness and isolation are often at the root of mental health issues. Us men chat best when we are busy rather than over coffee. The LadsShed is ideal for that peer to peer support and will help us to see early warning signs such as a change in behaviour in each other. Rather than crisis intervention like the Haven itself provides, it’s a preventative early intervention method against suicide for men. It will also improve the quality of life and support, with a sense of belonging for members.”

The Haven Hub is a non-profit organisation that gives peer support and advocates for people in distress or at risk of suicide. We do this by empowering the service user in making the links necessary in their recovery to wellness. We extend help from our suicide prevention trained volunteers to develop an agreed safety plan if they are at risk of suicide. We also offer peer support to people late at night who need emotional support due to distress. We operate late at night into the early hours of the morning which is the peak time for suicide and when most support organisations are closed. We provide aftercare to link people with longer-term professional support when appropriate. We also provide wellness and awareness courses to the community to increase preventative measures rather than just dealing with crisis intervention.

The Lads Shed is open to men of all ages once they sign up through the link found in the pinned post on the Haven Hub’s Facebook page. 

For more stories on the Haven Hub, go HERE 

For more information on the Haven Hub, go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.