Rod Middleton – Men’s Health Week

Rod Middleton, Member Welfare Officer

What does a Member Welfare Officer do?

I perform numerous facets to this role. Primarily to provide pastoral care and following up with members who may need a welfare check and just make sure they’re OK, especially after a traumatic event. To be there if a member has an issue or concern and they wish to chat about it, either private or Johnnies related. Other facets my role includes is assisting and participating in our Induction Weekends and in our Catch Up nights to see how our new members are travelling, having a voice at our DTL meetings that helps shapes our organisation to be better today and strive to raising the bench mark in the future. I act as an unofficial mentor to our new and younger members, and I am a strong advocate for both Mental Health (regardless who you are) and Men’s Health issues. Finally, with fantastic assistance from Ana and Emma, we organise Social Events such as Trivia Nights, Laser Tag, Paint ‘n Pinot and Movie Nights – Everyone is welcome!

Why do you think you were chosen for this role?

A combination of a few things, I love helping people and I always try to deliver what I set out and say what I will do. My passion for Johnnies and that I genuinely care about people and treat people with humanity.

What sorts of advice do you give – do you refer them to secondary services, medical professionals…?

As I have a bit of life experience under my belt, my advice is on a case by case basis covering a range of life’s issues, but my key mantra and advice is, “if you can be anything in this world – be kind”. Kindness is the greatest attribute a person can have. At the end of the day it is all about respect, respect for all the people who crosses your path and respect for yourself. Clinically, absolutely I refer people to other allied health services as it’s all about getting that positive health outcome.

Do you have any advice for organisations looking to appoint a mental health spokesperson for staff?

To have both a male and female spokesperson as we have different needs that are just as important as each other. Additionally, the two can have a joint front to cover shared mental health issues that both genders suffer. Finally, if an organisation is going to support mental health, it’s imperative that it is a genuine ongoing commitment and just not a “tick ‘n flick” exercise that portrays a popular optic that is currently in vogue.

I wish to congratulate St John Ambulance for standing up and recognising and acknowledging Men’s Health Week and International Men’s Day. This is significant when a simple observation illustrates that most Australian Governments around the country and multinational organisations around the world do not participate and invest in their male staff in this manner – one needs to ask why? The actions of St John Ambulance truly represent and includes all staff and our services reaches the whole community which is an outstanding achievement and something to be extremely proud of.

Rod Middleton – Men’s Health Week

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