The Australasian Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health is delighted to be partnering with Movember to deliver its “Out there, making a difference…” project for men and boys in rural and remote Australia.
About 32% (3.1 million) of all Australian men reside outside capital cities. Suicide rates in rural and remote areas are significantly greater than in urban populations, with farmers and indigenous men and boys being most at risk.
“We have been working in the rural and remote mental health sector for a number of years now and, frankly it’s been very challenging to draw focus on and secure support for the sort of work we do,” said the Centre’s Managing Director, Dr Jennifer Bowers.
“We are very excited and pleased that Movember acknowledges the work the Centre has been doing. Men and boys in rural and remote Australia face very significant mental health challenges as they live and work in conditions marked by destabilising change, financial uncertainty and extreme weather events.”
“Their specific challenges are compounded by remoteness, disaggregation and the traditional “macho” reluctance to admit a problem,” Dr Bowers said.
Jeremy Macvean, Movember’s Asia Pacific Director, said the partnership enabled Movember to reach men and boys living in remote and rural Australia who face different challenges to their city mates.
“We’re excited about this project as it gives us the opportunity to target males in rural and remote areas, encouraging men to talk more openly about mental health,” Mr Macvean said.
“Movember started in Australia as a community movement just over a decade ago and has grown across 21 countries and raised $580 million to date, so we know firsthand how powerful and important these targeted, community-driven approaches are” he added.
“With Movember’s very valuable support, the Centre will now be able to deliver the “Out there, making a difference …” project over the next three years in agricultural, mining/resource and Indigenous communities.”
Dr Bowers said it is a comprehensive, integrated project built on the Centre’s existing programs. It’s designed to bring about a cultural paradigm shift in understanding the psyches of men and boys in rural and remote Australia with regard to their mental health. That understanding is then deployed through education, behavioural change and preventative and early interventions.
“This project is about building healthy and safe workplaces and communities by practical, on-the-ground, masculine approach to engaging with men who may be at risk” Dr Bowers said.
This unique and innovative approach will engage and incorporate the input of the very men and boys that the project targets. The knowledge developed from the programs will be evaluated, reviewed and disseminated to ensure ongoing, positive, sustainable change. 2
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“A critical element is breaking down the stigma of mental illness. We will do this with our partners by delivering targeted and culturally relevant information about mental health, wellbeing and suicide prevention and by encouraging and informing early help-seeking behaviours,” said Dr Bowers.
“We encourage all Australians who recognise the significance of rural and remote communities and businesses to our national prosperity to support Movember’s fundraising campaign this year,” concluded Dr Bowers.
Men around the nation are once again preparing for a hairy month ahead of this year’s Movember. Supported by the women in their lives, men are encouraged to grow their moustache for 30 days during November to help raise funds and spark conversations to change the face of men’s health in the areas of prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health. Sign up or support a moustache at Movember.com.