NT Men's Health Awards Nominee: Life Itself Movement
The Life Itself Movement(LiT) in the Palmerston and Darwin region in the Northern Territory provides a safe space for men to connect with each other, discuss/ listen to successes of life, and support those who may be struggling with mental health issues, or who may be overcoming traumatic incidents. It was established and developed by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
Meetings have been held with men aged 18-29 returning each time to take part in sessions run by three co-ordinators, all of them Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander males. They are Casey Jones, Anthony Hale and Jye Cardona
Although not limited to a specific age group, there has been a particular focus on connecting men under the age of 35.
“It is a safe space with high confidentiality rules. It is also free of charge and has trauma informed, local facilitators providing food and drink to cater,” says Casey Jones, who is one of the co-ordinators.
The aim of LiT is to reduce stigma and create change in young men, “by empowering, mentoring and listening to their journeys.”
They are encouraged to speak about issues affecting their daily lives. The focal points are anxiety, depression, trauma and conversing about addictions or struggles with employment, fatherhood, relationships or grief.
The first LiT session was held on 29 May and, although the sessions are open to men of all backgrounds, all who attended the first meeting were of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage.
“The sessions have been targeted to provide an opportunity for men to contribute, listen and gather insight to the journey of others, to reflect on their own lives, and to find common ground and connection with other men in similar stages of life,” say the organisers.
LiT has been nominated for the NT Men's Health Awards, to be announced in Darwin next week.
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