Men’s health funded by fun in the sun
Coogee Chamber of Commerce chose The Banksia Project as the charity of choice for 2019 and 2020. Focused on early intervention, The Banksia Project runs free community-based programs for men called Growth Rooms.
Growth Rooms are peer-to-peer sessions that give men a safe opportunity to come together, connect and support each other in their community. About ten men in each Growth Room meet for about two hours each month to share their experiences and learn practical tools to improve health and wellness.
These programs are mates supporting mates, with a psychologist on call too.
The Banksia Project doesn’t aim to address mental illness and suicide rates directly, rather the Growth Rooms network equips men to be happier and healthier, able to deal with life’s challenges, become more socially connected and lead a life with purpose. This enables prevention of, and recovery from, mental health issues.
A $5,000 donation from 2019’s Taste of Coogee Festival funded the training of 20 new community volunteers, which in turn enabled the launch of ten new Growth Rooms in the community.
“The widespread impact of these programs is phenomenal, compounding and ultimately hard to measure,” says Program Director, Jack Jones.
“However, men from Growth Rooms tell us that it’s become life-changing for them. They’re happier, more resilient and healthier.”