September 22nd, 2015

The Movember Foundation to crowd-source creative ideas to tackle loneliness amongst men

1,000th Program Funded
Where The Money Goes
An innovative new program funded and delivered by the Movember Foundation will see individuals and teams pitch creative, “out of the box” ideas focusing on male social connections and addressing the important issue of loneliness among men.

Adam Garone, Movember Foundation CEO, says “Social isolation and loneliness are much bigger issues than many appreciate. There is strong evidence that a reduction in the quality of social connections has a significant impact on the health outcomes of men.” 

Movember Foundation’s own research and international studies highlight that the cultivation of healthy, close relationships can increase individual resilience and act as a protective factor against suicide. Friends and family can be a significant source of social, emotional and financial support, and can buffer against the impact of external stressors.

With a working title of Global Social Innovation Challenge, the program is a solid example of the way in which the Foundation is tackling key men’s health issues. A pilot program was first rolled out in Canada by the Foundation, and having proved successful, will now also be introduced into the UK and Australia with further global expansion planned in the future. 

The program involves crowd-sourcing ideas and solutions at a grassroots level, rather than following more traditional avenues. It is a truly innovative approach, and one that is known to deliver results from the work already carried out in Canada.

The ideas that were pitched and ultimately funded in Canada included the Veteran Transition Networks’ Man/Art/Action project, an art/theatre process integrated with a specific group therapeutic approach involving veterans and non-veterans that facilitates recovery from war-related traumas. Veterans worked together to carve a Tribute Pole memorializing each of the 158 Canadians who lost their lives in Afghanistan and shared their experience via performance in a play entitled Contact! Unload.

Project outcomes, including innovative ways to get men to develop healthier behaviors for dealing with traumatic injuries, are receiving global attention.

Garone continues, “The Canadian Man/Art/Action project is an example of how a nontraditional approach can lead to a nontraditional response with very positive results. I’m immensely proud of this program and am looking forward to seeing the ideas generated by the newly expanded program.” 

The Foundation’s strategy to address poor mental health has identified population groups that are at risk, which will be the focus of this program. This includes new fathers, unemployed men, divorced men and men of lower socio-economic status.

This program marks an important milestone for the Movember Foundation-- the funding of its 1,000th men’s health program. A significant achievement, but one that the Foundation is keen to keep in perspective, knowing how much more work is required to meet our goal of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health. 

Garone concludes, “We’ve funded significant breakthroughs and made important inroads, but the fact remains that the state of men’s health is in crisis. We need to continue to fund programs such as these for the men in our lives today and, importantly, the future. We want men to live happier, healthier, longer lives.”

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