CEI to evaluate Movember $10m+ global mental health grant fund

CEI is delighted to share that we will be working with global men's health charity Movember on a two-year evaluation of a new AUD $10.38 million grant fund. This evaluation will assess a range of factors including scalability, sustainability, implementation, and outcomes across numerous innovative programs working with men and boys. 

Mental health conditions have been called the ‘second pandemic’ with rates of depression and anxiety having grown 28% and 26% respectively. The needs of men and boys have been historically under-attended in policy and public health, and it is therefore critical that mental health system responses rolled out in the wake of this second pandemic do not continue to overlook or fail to attend to their specific needs. Mental health and suicide are particularly under-attended areas in global population health and the challenges are stark: men and boys globally have 2-4x the rates of death by suicide than women and girls (Rice et al., 2021), with fewer attempted but more completed attempts. 

CEI welcomes the opportunity to contribute alongside our partners at Movember to the global evidence base in what works to support men's and boys' mental health and suicide prevention. 

A Press Release was issued by Movember on October 10, World Mental Health Day, to announce the fund and evaluation. That is here:  

Leading men’s health charity Movember is thrilled to announce the first-round recipients of ‘Scaling What Works,’ an AUD $10.38 million Grant Funding Program that aims to supercharge mental health initiatives that have shown real promise in improving mental health and wellbeing for young boys and men, across community or workplace settings.

In Australia:

  • Indigenous Employment Partners’ Yarn’n Circle aims to break down barriers to employment and reconnect men with First Nations culture
  • The University of Melbourne’s Dads Tuning in to Kids aims to strengthen connections between fathers and their children through building emotional competence
  • Reclink Australia’s Western Sydney Men's Mental Health & Gambling Harm Prevention Program delivers targeted sports and recreation programs to people experiencing gambling harm, social isolation, and poor mental health
  • Victoria University’s collaboration with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation Sons of the West program aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of men in CALD communities with interactive presentations, physical activities, and events
  • Top Blokes Foundation’s Top Blokes Mentoring Program is an early intervention program offering weekly interactive mental health mentoring sessions to vulnerable young males

In the United Kingdom:

  • Beyond Equality’s Collective Resilience with Men in Sports and Community Settings will train local community facilitators to run interactive workshops for men, helping them rethink gendered socialisation to create more inclusive cultures that encourage help-seeking
  • Best BeginningsThey Call Me Dad is an early intervention program that supports GBTQ+ men transitioning into parenthood
  • SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health)’s Achieving Active Lives is an early intervention program that promotes physical activity and positive behaviour change
  • Sport in Mind's Sport in Mind is an intervention program that uses sport to engage socioeconomically disadvantaged men with a high risk of mental ill-health or suicide
  • Growing2gether's youth mentoring program pairs young mentors facing disadvantage with children with social/personal challenges
  • Rugby League CaresOffload is a program delivered by current and former rugby league players and professionals, using lived experience to help men build mental fitness. The project supports men within the construction industry, empowering them to take control of their mental health
  • Age NI’s Good Vibrations will support the mental health and wellbeing of Men aged 50+ in communities and workplaces across Northern Ireland

Each of the successful initiatives will receive between AUD $250,000 and $500,000 of funding over the next two years, allowing them to scale their reach and impact, in an effort to fast-track mental health outcomes in local communities. The Centre for Evidence and Implementation (CEI) will evaluate the programs to ensure they are delivering the best possible outcomes in communities that may be more disproportionately affected by poor mental wellbeing.

Owen Brigstock-Barron, Movember’s Director of Community and Workplace Programs said, “It’s great to see such a diverse range of mental health initiatives represented in Scaling What Works. Established initiatives will target boys and men from culturally diverse backgrounds, GBTQ+ communities, Indigenous communities, and those living in socially disadvantaged areas.

Scaling evidence-based initiatives allows us to have an immediate impact on those most at risk, breaking down barriers and enabling boys and men to get the support they need at the earliest possible stage. It’s really exciting to think about the instant impact these programs will have in local communities.”

Movember is a charity that certainly believes in the connective power of community, having funded more than 1,250 men's health projects around the world since 2003. It's an organisation that has revolutionised the way people talk about men's health and transformed the way services reach boys and men, with support programs that are accessed by millions of people around the world.

In Australia, one of the successful applicants that will benefit from Movember’s funding will be Victoria University with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Sons of the West program. A free 10-week health program that aims to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes for men aged 18 years and over, with face-to-face literacy programs that build knowledge on a range of topics including nutrition, gender equity, masculinity, and mental health. The program is facilitated by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation in partnership with local councils and community health services across Victoria. The current initiative focuses on engaging locals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, providing a supportive environment to learn more about health while getting active and making new friends along the way.

More recipients of Movember's Scaling What Works Program will be announced soon.