According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the current suicide rate for men in Australia is more than three times the rate of women. But research shows that encouraging men (and young men in particular) to share their feelings and their experiences has a huge impact on their health and wellbeing.
It was with this in mind that back in July, fresh from our efforts around the Inspire Foundation’s #Manweek campaign, Mark Pollard and I decided to TRY to make a difference. Sure, there were some great blog posts written by men, for men – but how many people were we reaching? How many men in crisis were reading our blog posts? We needed to find another way.
Putting our heads together, we hit upon the idea of a self-published book. Blurb.com came to the rescue, providing an easy way for us to design, publish and distribute the book. But then – it was a matter of stories.
Putting the call out, we asked for other men to join us – sharing your thoughts on a blog is one thing – but committing them to print is quite another (plus we needed various disclaimers and so on) – so we didn’t know who would respond.
In the end, 30 writers heeded the call. The resulting book is a compilation of stories about reinventing manhood. It follows the life-arc of a man, from its beginnings through the trials and tribulations, challenges and jubilations that we all face.
The spirit of honesty that pervades the book will break your heart and allow it to be forged anew – for far from being a collection of stories of desperate lives, it is a grudging acknowledgement of the double-edged joy that life truly is.
As Scott Drummond writes:
If I’ve learned anything through all this it is that there aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for how to be a man in this crazy and unpredictable emotional tornado we call life. The only thing we can really be assured of is that life will continue to change for us all, regardless of how much we wish it wouldn’t. All I know is that how you grow and evolve as a man to meet the challenges that life will inevitably throw at you is what really counts. I’ve learned that no matter how alone or broken you feel there are men and women who care enough to be there for you, to help you feel less broken and alone.
It is in this spirit of connectedness that we are excited to now make this book, The Perfect Gift for a Man, available. Please buy it for the men in your life – regardless of whether you THINK they need it or not. Encourage them to read it and to share it with their mates, with their uncles, fathers and sons.
You can also find out more about the book and see our social media release here.