Boys Do Cry is the message surrounding a powerful campaign which launched this week to address men’s mental health and further break down stereotypes that prevent men from seeking help.
With suicide the leading cause of male deaths under 55 in Australia, and 7 Aussies dying by suicide every day, a team of creators in partnership with the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Mental Health and the Gotcha4Life foundation, Boys Do Cry is the anthem of the 30-male choir sitting in a circle in a beautiful hall with high ceilings and wooden floorboards.
A soft light touches all as, one by one, males of all ages and backgrounds stand to take their part in the chorus, reminiscent of stirring urban musicals like RENT.
In a separate vignette Dallas Woods, an Indigenous man from the Kimberleys, where the suicide rate is among the highest in the world, tells the filmmakers that: “I am sick of going to funerals.”
“It’s become normal now.”
Dallas (pictured) talks about the masculine dilemma of showing strength and vulnerability. “It’s hard to know the difference between being powerful and being someone who your family and friends can look up to and feel safe around, compared to being dominant.
“And saying I’m a man, I can do this, I have to do this, I don’t cry. As a man we don’t give each other respect when it comes to nurturing each other.
“We’ve gotta normalise men crying, men asking for help.”
Real men get help, and real me do cry.
Jimmy, an angel-faced 16-year-old surfer from Manly, recounts the story of a friend at school being ‘broken’ by the death of his mother when he was in Year 8. Jimmy says no one wanted to ask this boy how he was going. “We tried to keep everything normal, which maybe wasn’t the best thing.”
Jimmy (pictured below) says he thinks the videos in the Men Do Cry campaign are important to break down the stigma of men and boys expressing their feelings, although he personally could not remember when he last cried. “I just don’t cry,” he says.
The Men Do Cry website shares tips and links to counselling and health services for males wanting to talk to someone, and also for those worried that their mate is not coping and might even be suicidal.
There are also resources to share, encouraging people to make ‘WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, GET TALKING BANNERS and display them in a public spaces.
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VISIT BOYS DO CRY: https://boysdocry.com.au/
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