The Africa Institute for ending depression, violence, Bullying, and Suicide (AFRIBS) in partnership with other organisations will engage in a four-day online campaign on men’s health awareness code-named: the Blue Socks Movement.
The campaign seeks to raise awareness of men‘s mental health.
Running from the 4th to the 8th of April between 1700 and 1800hours under the hashtag #ForOurMen and #BlueSocks, the campaign will feature a range of events open to all men.
The programme aims to encourage and support young men by providing a platform with professional speakers in the areas of financial literacy, relationships, addictions, physical health, and spirituality.
AFRIBS has partnered with DATADVICE, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA), Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association BVTA, and a Harare-based lifestyle and information platform 3-mob.com to raise awareness about the event.
AFRIBS Director Zenani Masuku said men do not have enough support systems that encourage them to be mindful of their mental health.
“Men’s mental health is important just like women’s mental health but we are faced with a societal challenge where men do not have enough support systems or spaces that encourage them to be mindful of their mental health,” said Masuku.
She said globally male suicides are on the increase.
“We cannot be okay with watching people take their lives when something can be done about it. The topmost triggers for depression, anxiety, and suicide in men are financial struggles. Men are taught to be providers and protectors and if this aspect of who they are is affected their mental health is equally affected,” said Masuku.
She said the programme aims to have a holistic approach to supporting men. “According to global statistics, 75% of male suicide attempts are not linked to current mental health symptoms like depression. Male suicide attempts are more commonly linked to relationship issues, work or money, alcohol, and drugs. We hope to tackle all these issues by providing professionals in these areas to help assist and share informative strategies to cope with challenges that emanate from these topics.”