South Africa is grappling with an alarming increase in suicide rates, with men disproportionately affected. According to the South Africa Society of Psychiatrists report, South Africa is ranked tenth on the list of countries with the highest suicide rates, with 23.5 suicides per 100,000 people. Out of the 13,774 suicides reported in South Africa, a staggering 10,861 were among men. This crisis demands re-evaluating how we approach men’s mental health issues.
To combat this crisis, the Generation Gender South African Coalition is organising a Provincial Imbizo that will take place on the 11th of November 2023 in Johannesburg South Africa, with the theme “Men at work.” This event will focus on destigmatisation of men’s mental health and providing men with tools to become effective allies in the fight against Gender-Based Violence.
The “Men at Work” imbizo aims to create a safe and supportive environment where men of all backgrounds can gather and participate in mental health interventions. These interventions will equip them with the knowledge and practical skills to address mental health issues and become advocates against Gender-Based Violence.
It is a grim fact that men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues, often turning to destructive behaviours like substance abuse, intimate partner violence or suicide. It is time to change this narrative and provide men with the resources and support they need to maintain good mental health.
The “Men at Work” Imbizo will be MC’d by comedian and entrepreneur David Kau, and will include artistic performances by Makhafula Vilakazi and Okolom, and feature various activities including:
- Keynote addresses by influential figures like Dr Jerry Mofokeng, Nick Nzama, Bongani Luvalo, Siv Ngesi, Ntsikelelo Mzimbomvu, and Siyabulela Jentile.
- A mental health master class and dialogue with the Gentlemen’s Clinic, where experts from a men’s clinic and podcast will discuss critical health issues affecting men.
- Café sessions where men will gather in groups to explore interventions for mental health, destigmatise mental health discussions and engage in creative activities.
- A self-care corner with fitness led by artivist Siv Ngesi and grooming activities to highlight the importance of self-care as an intervention to combat mental health issues.
Healthy men are not born, they are empowered in the direct environment they exist in”.
“This campaign is aimed at using dynamic interventions which are not distant from the lived reality of men, in a safe and light-hearted manner, educate and heal society, one boy child at a time”, she adds.
The Generation Gender partnership is rooted in the promotion of gender equality and the eradication of violence in our communities. By challenging harmful gender norms, addressing unequal power dynamics, and facilitating youth agency, it aims to create a gender-just society. This Imbizo intends to empower the Generation G Champions, volunteers to become ambassadors for men’s mental health globally.
About Generation G:
Generation G is a global program implemented in seven countries, including South Africa, to create gender-just and violence-free communities for young people in their full diversity. The Generation G South African Coalition comprises three partner organisations: Sonke Gender Justice, and ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, and ActionAid South Africa, working together to advance the objectives of the Generation G program in South Africa.
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