When we spotted that Movember were doing something called the Social Connections Challenge, we knew we had to jump on board. We all know the importance of Men’s Mental Health as we recently discussed on our blog, but understanding the importance and actually doing something to make a difference, are two very different things.
The brief was simple, yet powerful. Movember is on a “national search for fresh and exciting digital and technological ideas that address social isolation. An idea that responds to right now – an idea with legs that can carry it into the future, far beyond COVID-19 and the challenges of 2020. So, what’s your big idea?”
Checking in on each other, staying connected, knowing the signs of someone who’s struggling and knowing how to reach out have never been more important. So we needed to come up with an idea that has an upstream prevention and early intervention approach to Men’s Mental Health.
Movember’s recent survey discovered (unsurprisingly) that nearly a quarter of men surveyed reported that their mental health had worsened in the first six weeks of the coronavirus outbreak. Thirty percent admitted they felt lonely more often, with a huge seventy one percent being aged just 18 – 29 years.
We decided to put this task to our three apprentices as their first full brief, giving them the perfect opportunity to showcase what they’ve learnt over the past few months. The ideas were endless, but we finally decided on a dynamic concept with a ‘Barber Shop’ theme.
In the real world, The Barber Shop could be seen as a safe space for men to be able to open up to someone they see regularly. Commonly, men may feel more comfortable talking to their barber as opposed to a close family member or friend because they can enter the barbers, have an open conversation, then leave – leaving their problems at the door too. It is easy for men to build trust and friendships without judgement at The Barber Shop and this is something that we want to replicate through the creation of our virtual platform.
We chose to concentrate on four topical areas within our forum which will be designed to encourage men who are struggling with their mental health to have a safe space to open up in and talk freely about their mental health. We wanted to focus on Mental Health, Physical Health, Relationships / Family, and Education, Finance & Employment. This is for older men who live alone, young men affected by unemployment or interrupted education, those bereaved, those undergoing treatment for prostate / testicular cancer, and every man in between.
We’re incredibly proud to announce that, out of thousands of submissions, our Barber Shop idea was shortlisted to the final 70. What’s more, we are the only UK agency to be shortlisted, making the announcement even more special for the company and our apprentices, Archie, Adam and Aaron.
We have to wait until March 2021 before we know if our concept will be taken to co-development. We can’t wait to hear back from Movember and hope to bring this to fruition with the support and passion of such an established charity behind us. We want to be part of something greater, something that can be scaled for long-term impact.
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