Daracon gets behind men’s mental and physical health

Daracon gets behind men’s mental and physical health

Hunter-based civil construction group Daracon has congratulated Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) and University of Newcastle researcher, Dr Myles Young on being named a 2021 AMP Tomorrow Maker.

Myles will use the $55,000 grant to help create a fully online version of a weight loss program designed specifically for men’s mental health, called Self-Help Exercise and Dietusing Information Technology, i.e., SHED-IT Recharge.

Daracon and HMRI provided funding for a trial of SHED-IT Recharge, which builds on the University of Newcastle’s internationally renowned SHED-IT weight loss program for men.

The Recharge program gives men tools to feel mentally well as well as lose weight, become more active and improve their diet without having to eat like a rabbit.

Daracon’s three-year funding also saw Myles develop a program to improve the health of its largely male workforce.

Managing Director at Daracon, Jon Mingay, said he saw the benefit of backing a program that could help his workforce, and other workforces, be healthier and more productive.

“When we agreed to provide funding to HMRI, we were drawn to a wellbeing program that integrated physical and mental health,” Jon said.

“Myles and his team were able to develop a flexible delivery solution to suit our business where staff are spread across multiple sites.

“While the program was developed with men in mind, it has been enthusiastically taken up by women in our workforce as well, which is a great outcome.”

Myles said 125 men participated in the latest SHED-IT Recharge trial and the data is looking very positive.

“We are gaining a much better understanding of how men’s physical and mental health influence each other,” Myles said.

“Our research shows that when men lose weight and improve their lifestyle, their low mood symptoms are substantially reduced.”

By taking the program online Myles hopes to help more men, particularly in regional, ruraland remote areas, because it makes it more convenient, confidential and accessible.

Men are less likely than women to take steps to manage their weight, even though they are more likely to be obese in every age group

Myles said many men who feel down, frustrated, tired or stressed don’t use face-to-face mental health services.

Around 70 per cent of Australian men are overweight or obese and the average male bodymass index is increasing at twice the international average.

Myles said the traditional masculine notion that bigger is better, a glut of poor quality food, rising rates of depression and anxiety, and a more sedentary lifestyle means there is an urgent need for effective weight loss and mental wellness programs for men.

He thanked AMP Foundation for its supportandsaid Daracon’s support was instrumental ingetting the program off the ground.

“Business support is so vital for mental health research andcardiovascular research, thatcan make a big difference to a man’s health,” he said.

Myles is a National Heart Foundation post-doctoral research fellow at The University of Newcastle’s Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

In 2019 he was named Bupa Health Foundation’s national emerging health researcher. AMP’s Tomorrow Fund offers $1 million in grants annually to Australians who are doing great things.

IMAGE | HMRI and University of Newcastle researcher, Dr Myles Young

Trending Articles

Advertise with us

Affordable and engaging advertising to a business community

Submit an article

Tell your story to the Hunter business community

Does your business need a little help with its marketing?

Marketing strategies