Gotcha4Life – the Men’s Mental Health Charity – has this week agreed to fund 100 Gotcha4Life in-school programs Australia-wide in a bid to reach 1 million teenage males and empower them with the skills they need to improve and sustain their own mental health.

The Gotcha4Life eight-member Advisory Board has come together for the first planning session, where they rolled up their  sleeves up and took action.

It was a fantastic opportunity to combine the member’s skills and experience, and come up with real and measurable goals to use the Gotcha4Life pillars to make significant improvements to men’s mental health.

The Gotcha4Life Board is focussed on areas of maximum impact, while also supporting our already-identified areas of need.

“We were all able to draw on, then combine, our own skill sets,” says charity co-founder Gareth Pike, “The group planned the leverage of contacts and experience to best-implement our established practical strategies in order to make a significant difference.”

The Advisory Board has decided a primary focus should be placed firmly on in-school programmes, kicking off with Bloke Whisperer Tom Harkin and his ‘Tomorrow Man’ program. The Program is all about courageous and honest conversations that build lifelong skills so men can live in a more effective and healthier way. The Board believes this is where there is a significant need and therefore, Gotcha4Life can make the most impact.

The Gotcha4Life programs, including ‘Tomorrow’s Man’ will promote the importance of the ‘Man Hug’ and how physical connections play an important role in real communication between males and having a positive mental health state.

“We have agreed to run National Man Hug Week from March 12, 2018,” says Gareth, “because it’s vital men engage in real conversations with their mates, then seal it with physical contact. It’s also vital males develop relationships with other men in their lives so they can initiate a serious conversation.”

Studies show one in three men do not have another person they can turn to if they need real help.

Co-Founder Mike Charter says this is just the beginning of the project. “We are starting from a position of great strength,” he says. “We have a supportive and united Advisory Board committed to setting and achieving measurable goals, so Gotcha4Life is best-placed to make a significant and positive impact on the mental health of Australian men.”