On November 9-10, the Movember Foundation brought together 32 representatives from 21 projects in 5 countries across the world, funded for their work in improving mental health and wellness in men and boys. The goal of this meeting was to allow for connections to be made between different projects, and to discuss how to best approach Knowledge Translation strategies - sharing lessons and findings from projects and communities with each other, funders, policy-makers, media, and the global community at large.
It was interesting to discuss how our various projects connected with Movember Foundation's Men's Health Strategy, and more specifically with their Mental Health Strategy. There is quite a diverse selection of projects that have been funded through the grant, ranging from the "Deadly Choices" Campaign by the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health in Australia working with Aboriginal boys and men, to the "Making Connections" program by the Prevention Institute in the United States working with men and boys disproportionately affected with poorer mental health outcomes (people of colour, veterans, etc.), to the "Bro Talk" project by the Kids Help Phone in Canada providing a phone and instant messaging service for teen boys across the country. It was beneficial for us to discuss our similarities and differences, and to gain an appreciation for the landscape of programs and projects addressing the important issues related to the mental health of men and boys.
Moving forward, we are committed to sharing our findings and lessons not only through formal academic channels, but also through our website, social media presence, and by working with Movember to leverage their brand and reach for knowledge translation purposes. It is important for us to share what we learn in order to help make a case for innovative, culturally-relevant programs to improve the health outcomes of the men and boys in our communities.