A note from our president

I had always been interested in men’s mental wellbeing and the prevention of male suicide, especially after losing a family member and two close friends in a two-year period.
But the business of life gets in the way, and you move on. Until a friend sent me a text one day that would literally change my life.
The text, based on a quote from South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, read like this:

At some point, we have to stop pulling people out of the river and go upstream and find out why they are falling in.

Talk about a wake-up call.

I started to ask some serious questions. Does a “one size fits all” approach really help solve male mental health issues across age groups? Why is there a record amount of help/rehab services available for men to access, yet male mental health continues to deteriorate and suicide rates remain high? Is there an opportunity to focus more on “prehab” initiatives and awareness building, in order to bring better balance to the male mental health ecosystem?

I had conversations with men from all walks of life. The common theme in the conversations was – What is the definition of a man? What is their role in today’s society, and is it clear? Why can’t men communicate their thoughts and feelings like women? Is there a better approach – a framework where we could look at men’s wellbeing through a “Womb to Tomb” lens?

I put on my educator’s hat and had many discussions with like-minded friends to ponder these very questions. Something was beginning to emerge out of our countless deep and meaningful discussions – a platform that could help redefine Masculinity, promote better communication in males and drive home the message of the importance of talking – Mens Talk was born.

There is a lot of work to do but we are ready to roll up our sleeves and put our boots to the ground to improve men’s overall wellbeing. I urge fellow organisations to join us in making a stand and work together for better men’s wellbeing and communication. Only together can we drive the change we are so passionately seeking.

I wanted to finally say a heartfelt thanks to my son Matthew who inspires me every day and lights up my life. To my fellow Mens Talk Board members, Tom, Ben, Callum and Laura, you are incredible human beings. The challenge lies ahead but the love and inspiration that you have already given to Mens Talk can only see this organisation grow and flourish. It is an honour to work with you, to share this incredible journey and call you my dear friends.

Paul Litwin
President, Mens Talk 2021

Paul Litwin