This program aims to demonstrate how depression, anxiety and suicide can be prevented through early interventions targeted at enhancing social connectedness for men and pioneer a preventative, wellbeing-focused approach to mental health interventions.
Phase 1 Research into social connectedness
Men in their middle years
Beyond Blue commissioned this research project to:
- highlight social connectedness as a protective factor for mental health and wellbeing
- identify the barriers impacting on the social connectedness of men in their middle years
- identify the factors which would facilitate social connectedness of men in their middle years
- use the evidence from this research to inform future involvement in initiatives and strategies to help men in their middle years to connect socially.
The research found that poor social connectedness is a significant issue for many men in their middle years with nearly one in four men (equating to 1.1 million men in the total population) experience low levels of social support and may be at-risk of isolation.
Social isolation in older Australians
Through a literature review commissioned by Beyond Blue in 2014, it was found that there is a large number of programs in Australia aiming to address the issue of social isolation in older Australians but information on these programs is not available to older adults and their families, carers and care service providers in a consumer-friendly and consolidated format. This lack of information is a barrier to social connectedness for many older adults.
Phase 2 Global Social Innovation Challenge
In October 2015, the Movember Foundation and Beyond Blue launched the Social Innovators Challenge to challenge the creative and forward thinking people of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom to propose innovative, outside the box concepts that could lead to game changing products or services and increase levels of social connections and feelings of belongingness for men.
A multi-stage selection process will be conducted by the Movember Foundation during 2016 to select innovative projects that propose new solutions or fresh approaches to generating, prototyping/testing and scaling initiatives that have potential to restore and strengthen the social connections of men.
The successful projects in Australia will be announced in early 2017.