Spotlight on The Banksia Project
The rates of suicide amongst men in Australia, especially young men are far too high. As something which is preventable with the right intervention – we really need to do something about it. Although there are many great supports set up for those with a diagnosed mental illness, we really need to look after our wellbeing holistically and all the time, just like our physical health. This is where the Banksia Project comes in, a space for men to learn and practice looking after their mental wellbeing and meet like minded others. It aims to decrease the stigma surrounding talking about our mental health, there’s no need to be ashamed as it’s something we all have and need to look after.
The Banksia Project is an organisation that has been developed by young men throughout Sydney who want to make a change regarding Men’s mental health. Right now, it is an epidemic. Not enough action is being taken to reduce the rate amongst young Australian males.
Unlike other mental health providers and services, the Banksia Project aims to improve and increase mental wellness practices, not focussing on mental illness. We look to provide a network for individuals to be comfortable to express and comprehend their feelings and avoid heading down a mental illness path. It is a preventative approach.
The Project have combined with the UTS health and psychology unit to develop the Growth Rooms; community led meetings of around 10-15 men, where mental wellness is practiced and encouraged. Community facilitators have been trained to run the Growth Rooms to ensure conversation is guided towards our psychologists modules, for the best possible outcomes. They will run for 2 hours, once a month, for a 6 month period
These groups are completely confidential. They provide a safe space for men in our community to develop relationships with others around them, on a like-minded journey towards mental wellness. They are completely free and have been established and coordinated by the banksia project. All that they ask is that individuals complete a short survey before and after the 6 month program, to measure its effectiveness.
This has never been done before. It is a first of its kind approach that may change the game when it comes to men's mental health. It may help put an end to this horrible epidemic that currently affects everyone all in some way throughout our community. It may be your friend, brother, dad, uncle, partner or colleague that suffers, we all know someone.
The Banksia Project is a wonderful organisation. It encourages men to open up and to be proactive in looking after their mental wellbeing. If any men in Sydney are interested visit their website at www.thebanksiaproject.com.au or on Facebook.
Thanks to Jack Jones for sharing information about The Banksia Project with me, I really encourage any man to join in with this valuable initiative. Below is a flyer about The Growth Rooms that they run.