$5.2M invested in the fight to strengthen men's social connections

Author: Movember

The Movember Foundation has revealed the names of 13 projects to receive pilot funding as part of the Social Innovators Challenge, a $5.2 million investment in projects aimed at strengthening social connections for men across Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Many men struggle to make and maintain strong social connections, which can contribute to social isolation and loneliness, and may lead to anxiety, depression and for some men, suicide. The goal is to find the most successful methods of enabling men to forge stronger, longer lasting and more meaningful relationships. 

The Challenge was initiated in 2015 when the Movember Foundation called for innovative, outside-the-box ideas for game-changing products or services which could increase the quantity and quality of men’s relationships, and thereby improve their mental wellbeing. Proposals were reviewed by a third-party panel of subject matter experts that included representation from across the world. 
 

“We know that in their 30's, men tend to start letting go of key relationships,” says Craig Martin, Global Director, Mental Health & Suicide Prevention, The Movember Foundation. “Social relationships are a key protective factor for men against anxiety, depression and potentially suicide. We need to tackle this issue, and fresh ideas are needed because the status quo isn’t working for men. We’re excited to launch these projects that will build the critical evidence we need in this area.”


The projects, which begin this month, aim to reach men through a number of contexts including sport, food and gaming. They will run for two years to test the ideas with a goal to build evidence around what works for men.  

The 13 funded projects are:
 
Project Name
Organisation

Country
'DGI Connect'      Dads Group Inc. Australia
'Entourage' Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health Australia
'Vet Connect'
Soldier On
Australia
'Well Played!'
Queensland University of Technology
Australia
'WOW Sand n' Surf' Waves of Wellness Foundation Australia
'Apocalypse Made Easy!' University of British Columbia
Canada
'Dad HERO Project' Canadian Families and Corrections Network Canada
'Homebase' McGill University Canada
'Roots and Roofs' Montreal WHO-PAHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Mental Health Canada
'Brothers Through Boxing' Boxing Futures UK
'Ex-Cell 50+' Co-operative and Mutual Solutions Limited
UK
'Men's Pie Club' Food Nation
UK
'The Changing Room' Scottish Association for Mental Health
UK