Is there anything more Australian than a dedicated national day to catch up with your mates? Probably not, which is why Aussie-grown men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation, is encouraging blokes to take part in an official day of mateship this Tuesday May 8.
With one in four Australian men stating they have few or no social connections and one-third being unsatisfied with the quality of their friendships, Movember is urging guys to catch up with a mate on MAYEIGHT! – whether that’s going for a coffee with a workmate, a round of golf or a pub meal.
“Although mateship is a core Aussie value, the reality is that millions of Australian men are feeling isolated,” said Craig Martin, global director of mental health & suicide prevention at the Movember Foundation.
“We know from research that once men hit their 30s, their social connections tend to drop off, as their priorities change and the increased pressures of family, work and finances kick in, leaving men without a support network when times get tough.
“Suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 45 and part of the problem has been social isolation and a reluctance to open up,” Martin said. “However, if guys do make the effort to stay in touch with their mates, it can have a positive impact on their mental health, and can even protect against depression.”
With Movember-funded research revealing that less than half of guys would turn to a mate if they were going through a tough time, the Foundation’s third annual MAYEIGHT! campaign is aiming to tackle social isolation and improve mental health among mates.
“This year we want men to try something a little different during their MAYEIGHT! catch up,” said Rachel Carr, Movember foundation country director (Australia & NZ). “If they can take the initiative to get to know what’s really going on in their mate’s life, there is the opportunity to spark a potentially life-changing conversation – the simple first step is just to ask and listen.”