Free mental health service, The Banksia Project, increases men’s connectivity, resilience, and happiness during COVID-19

Posted on June 18, 2020, 9:40 am

The Banksia Project, a mental health not-for-profit dedicated to supporting Australian men towards mental wellness, has expanded its free services to include increased virtual support, in line with demand and alarming unemployment figures during COVID-19.

Focused on early intervention in men’s mental health, The Banksia Project is a community of ongoing connection and support, which provides a safe, judgement-free service called “Growth Rooms” – free to attend and conducted weekly via Zoom. Facilitated by trained volunteers, the hour sessions focus on ways to overcome daily challenges and encourage participants to connect with like-minded peers and share life experiences.

After just three Growth Room sessions, participants on average report feeling 40% more connected, 30% more resilient and 25% happier. As a result, The Banksia Project has expanded its offering, launching up to two additional Growth Rooms a fortnight, with the opportunity for women to also join during this challenging time.

The Banksia Project’s Program Director, Jack Jones said the demand and response was indicative of Australia’s need for more accessible services.

“The Banksia Project’s focus on community and open sharing is vital to overcoming anxiety and loneliness, particularly as we come out of this difficult time. It’s clear that Australians are actively looking for support networks, and we are determined to encourage as many people to try out our free Growth Rooms and experience their benefits”.

Each Growth Room hosts up to 10 people to ensure participants can forge strong, ongoing relationships within a small group. All Growth Room programs are structured in conjunction with mental health professionals, and additional support and referral networks are available if required.

“We liken our groups to a “gym for the mind,” as they encourage prevention and maintenance of mental health through education, regular support, trust and mateship. We recommend participants attend as many sessions as possible to build a strong sense of community and a self-care strategy tailored to their needs,” concluded Jack.

In addition to attending a Growth Room, community volunteers can apply to join free training provided The Banksia Project to facilitate their own session.

To register for a free virtual Growth Room or enquire to become a Volunteer Facilitator, visit: https://thebanksiaproject.org.au.