November 1, 2016 4:14pm
AS AN incredible sunrise brought light to Bondi Beach this morning, 191 pairs of men’s shoes were laid out on the sand in an effort to shine a light on a growing darkness plaguing Australia.
More than six men take their own lives every day across the country - about 191 each month - with suicide the leading cause of death among males aged 15-44.
Suicide prevention has been one of the key focuses of Movember since 2006, together with awareness of prostate and testicular cancer.
Movember co-founder Adam Garone said the shoes were a stark reminder of the size of the problem facing Australian men.
“We wanted to bring awareness to the gravity of the situation and pull it out of the shadows. Very few people know the extent that this is impacting our community,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“Over the course of a month there’s around 190 men take their life and the idea was to have a pair of shoes for every adolescent boy and man taking their life.”
It’s a topic that has touched Garone and his three co-founders personally over the years with eight of their friends taking their lives over the past few years.
“There are going to be a lot of men who read this article and will see the images that we did today who are in a really dark place,” he said.
“What we want to try and inspire is for them to think differently about how they’re tackling this and for them to talk with their mates, their partner or to seek some kind of help.”
Movember has raised hundreds of millions of dollars since friends Travis Garone - Adam’s brother - and mate Luke Slattery, came up with the idea over beers in 2003.
Various organisations, including Beyond Blue, The Black Dog Institute and The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, have benefited from millions of dollars, while the team at Movember are working themselves to bring about change.
They are currently working with Google on a global initiative and have other programs aimed at stopping men dying too young.