This Friday May 8, men’s health charity Movember is encouraging blokes to put aside time to catch up with friends in an official day of mateship.
In its fifth annual MAYEIGHT campaign, the charity is aiming to tackle social isolation and improve men’s mental health by championing May 8 as ‘the date to catch up with a mate’.
Brendan Maher, Global Director of Mental Health & Suicide Prevention at Movember said: “We have all faced pretty massive changes to our normal way of life over the past few months, and with the strict physical distancing rules currently in place, this year MAYEIGHT is more important than ever.
“Social isolation, coupled with a spike in unemployment, financial distress and relationship difficulties creates a concerning set of risk factors for men. This is why we are hearing so much about the potential impact COVID-19 can have on our mental health and wellbeing.
“Statistics reliably show that men have fewer close friends than women and that these numbers continue to drop as men age, but this doesn’t mean that younger men have it any easier. Right now, there’s a pretty good chance you have a mate feeling lonely or isolated that isn’t letting on he’s struggling.
“Through initiatives like MAYEIGHT, Movember wants to remind men about the importance of strong support networks, so that they have a solid group of mates to turn to if they are going through a tough time.”
To make catching up with a mate even easier, Movember is launching MAYEIGHT FESTIVAL, an innovative virtual festival of mateship supported by lululemon, Menulog, POLITIX and STIHL.
Rachel Carr, Movember Country Director APAC, said: “While physical gatherings are off the table, we can still find creative ways for men to connect through virtual experiences and events, which also helps to give our lives a sense of normalcy.
“What we’d be excited to see on May 8 is guys inviting a mate to attend MAYEIGHT FESTIVAL, and then setting themselves the challenge of going beyond the banter to talk about the some of the stuff that really matters.”
MAYEIGHT FESTIVAL kicks off from 7am until late on Friday May 8, featuring sets filmed from the homes of well-known Aussie musicians and comedians, as well as fitness, yoga and meditation sessions.
The first artist announcement includes The Aston Shuffle, Bag Raiders, Set Mo, Close Counters and Hockey Dad, alongside comedians Sam Simmons, Harley Breen, Michael Shafar, Suren Jayemanne and Lauren Edwards. The festival is hosted by former Goggleboxers’ Adam & Symon and Hit radio duo Tom & Olly.
lululemon ambassador and Founder of Fitness XO, Jimmy Taylor is hosting the festival’s MO SWEAT session, a paired fitness challenge for mates. He says: “Staying active can play an important role in connecting guys. Making exercise with a mate part of your routine is one of the best things you can do if you’re struggling – it makes any workout a lot more enjoyable if you’ve got a mate supporting you. It also helps hold you accountable.”
For advice to help support a mate who might be struggling, check out Movember Conversations at movember.com. Launched today by the men’s health charity, Movember Conversations is a new online tool designed to help strengthen informal conversations and increase confidence to have important chats with the men in our lives, by learning how to ask better questions, listen effectively, encourage action and check-in. It’s all about helping people feel more motivated, confident and willing to support someone they care about.
To get involved in MAYEIGHT FESTIVAL, tune in to Movember Australia’s Facebook Live feed on Friday May 8 (AEST). Check out the MAYEIGHT FESTIVAL event page on Facebook for the full line-up, updates and announcements.