Nov 30 2009

Guest Post: Inspire Foundation

The Perfect Gift for a Man - book coverInspire Foundation and our program users from Reach Out and ActNow are very thankful and honoured to be a part of “the perfect gift for a man”.

#manweek was initiated as a marketing strategy for the re-launch on Inspire’s flagship program, Reach Out in June 2009. It involved triple j’s Hack program and a blogging outreach campaign that engaged the blogging community to talk about what it means to be a man, this cascaded beyond the campaign envisaged by Reach Out’s marketing team by the passion of a few men.

Mark + Gavin, along with all of the contributors included in “the perfect gift for a man” have taken action in a positive and tangible way to open the door for men of all ages to speak about their experiences honestly.

The most uplifting thing about the project is that it was initiated by a group of guys who saw a NEED to share their stories of manhood to explore what it means to be male and also encourage others to do the same.

I have been humbled by the honesty shared when I have read these stories – and I look forward to sharing this book with the men in my life. Most notably my dad, brother and partner – but also brother-in-laws and my father in law – he’s from the old-school where emotions aren’t talked about and men don’t see a doctor for anything.

Most of all I think what “the perfect gift for a man” teaches me (and us collectively) is that improving the mental health and help seeking skills of young men is possible. Which is so important because though Inspire Foundation’s work we know that young men in Australia have higher rates of completed suicide, antisocial behaviour and drug and alcohol problems than young women (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007b; Coffey et al., 2003a; Coffey et al., 2003b; Hall et al., 1999; Teesson et al., 2000).

The perfect gift for a man book smashes stigma and stereotypes of male role-models in our community. Essentially, “the perfect gift for a man” through it’s honesty, integrity and raw emotion tells us all that’s it’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Shelley Watters

On behalf of the Inspire Communications team.