What is it?
The Movember Foundation has launched its first podcast, Movember Radio: Continuing the Conversation, which is airing stories about men from around the world who have faced tough challenges and overcome odds.
The podcast, which is designed to be personal, empowering and funny, will run all year. The first five episodes featuring people including Adam Garone, chief executive of the foundation, Tom Carroll, the Australian former pro surfer, and PJ Roberts, a former footballer and testicular cancer survivor.
Research funded by the foundation found that men aged between 35 and 54 years are at the greatest risk of social isolation and more likely to have mental health problems, which can be an indication of suicide risk. The foundation aims to highlight the issues of mental health problems and suicide in men through the podcasts, and encourage men to have conversations about their health and wellbeing. Each episode seeks to challenge people across the globe to rethink what it really means to be a man.
Why a podcast?
The charity regards a podcast as a very personal format. The idea is to help listeners to feel a part of the multitude of incredible stories and experiences men are having across the globe. It allows the charity to link these people at low cost and supplements its existing and planned video content.
The launch coincided with Men’s Health Week, which concludes on Sunday (21 June).
The podcast is being promoted on social media and through the charity’s partners and global community. People are able to subscribe to the podcasts and have new episodes delivered straight to their phone, tablet or computer.
What the charity says
Garone says men often compare themselves against a masculine ideal that values power, strength, control and invincibility. "As men, we often don’t like talking about how we’re feeling or discussing the impact of significant life events such as the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a job or becoming a father," he says. "But the reality is that we all go through tough times. It’s how men deal or don’t deal with these moments that has an effect on mental health and, unfortunately, suicide rates.
"Our aim for the Movember Radio podcast is to share the ‘hairy’ tales that inspire men to have real conversations and make simple changes that can lead to a big difference to their lives and their families."
Third Sector verdict
"Podcast" was named the word of the year by the New Oxford American Dictionary in 2005; but that was a decade ago, and the concept now seems somewhat dated and to have been taken over by online videos and vlogging. That said, Movember Radio provides new and interesting content that can be downloaded and listened to whenever and wherever. It is of good quality and does feel like you are being invited into a personal conversation. The health message included in the interviews is subtle and interweaved into the individual’s stories.
Although it is not the most innovative of campaigns, listening to men talk openly about their struggles should inspire and reassure others.