The old saying “boys don’t cry” has potentially deadly consequences.
A new programme at Parramatta Marist High School in Australia is teaching boys to open up to each other and talk about their feelings, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Boys who participate in the project work in small groups and produce radio segments to investigate men’s issues and come up with collaborative solutions to support their peers.
The school’s health and physical education (PE) teacher Luke Barry-Donnellan got the idea from a TV series called Man Up on the national broadcaster, which focused on “what it means to be a man” in Australia in order to expose hidden rates of male suicide.
The #ManUp documentary series is available to watch at https://t.co/T2JXqojPQq. #SpeakUp #ListenUp #Movember pic.twitter.com/2gHphSxlW0
— Man Up TV Series (@ManUpTVSeries) November 13, 2016
“What I found out was that everyone is going through the same things and there are things I have done or said that wouldn’t have seen me rejected after all,” said 15-year-old Toby, who has been participating in Parramatta Marist’s programme.
“Women speak to their friends but men don’t so much, but communication is the key to keeping Australian men alive.”
According to non-profit mental health organisation Lifeline, the suicide rate was at a 10-year high in 2015 at 12.6 people per 100,000 people. Males are three times more likely to commit suicide than females.
“I think sometimes men think that if they speak up people will think they are weak, but if men are not showing their emotions, they are like robots,” said another student named Monty, as quoted by the Herald.
Barry-Dollellan says: “It won’t change overnight but it would be nice if there was a cultural shift.”
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