The last 6 months have highlighted the importance of keeping in regular contact with friends and family — it has never been more important to stay socially connected. We know that strong social connections are a key protective factor for men against anxiety, depression, and suicide.

New research from Movember (in a report Bridging the Distance) shows that eight out of 10 men say they do find it helpful when someone asks if they’re having a tough time. Yet nearly half (46 percent)say no one has checked to find out how they are coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s easy to assume that people don’t want to be bothered or don’t want to talk when they are keeping to themselves however checking in on your mates and your loved ones can make all the difference.

We recognise how difficult starting these conversations can be: it can feel awkward and uncomfortable, and it’s easy to keep putting off, for this reason, we developed MovemberConversations as a way of encouraging people to reach out and check on their mates. It’s an online tool that uses simulated conversation to explore different scenarios and thereby help people feel more
confident in reaching out and having a conversation with someone they might be worried about: here. It demonstrates the importance of empathy and being a listening ear and that changing the way you respond can lead to deeper conversations.

Our vision is for men to stay mentally well, socially connected, have meaningful conversations, and take action during tough times: talking saves lives. It’s OK not to be OK, now more than ever with the challenges ahead. It’s so important to spot the signs of those incredible humans in our lives when they aren’t doing so well.

JC is the Co-Founder and Director of Global Innovation at the Movember Foundation. You can book a PepTalk with JC here.