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Online campaign tells Aussie men to 'soften the f--- up'


April 13, 2011 - Melbourne

An online campaign that hopes to raise awareness of mental health issues, has told Australian men to "soften the f--- up".

Digital branding professional Ehon Chan coined the slogan as part of a campaign he hopes will resonate and raise awareness with a younger audience.

"A big part of this campaign is challenging the 'real man' stereotype," News.com.au quoted Chan as saying.

"We think being a real man is about being tough enough to acknowledge something isn't right and strong enough to seek help," he said.

He said he initially had concerns about the name and had opted for the less confronting "Soften up mate" before being talked out of it by a friend.

"There are connotations that go with 'Soften the f--- up' which are quite different to those that go with 'Soften up mate'," he said.

"The message is not getting through to men that it's OK to ask for help, this issue does affect them, something has to be done to challenge that mentality," he explained.

More Australians are killed each year by suicide than by road accidents. In 2008 alone, 2191 people took their own lives, while the road toll was below 1450.

The World Health Organisation said "suicide rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of countries".

While there are campaigns such as Movember that address men's mental health and health issues Chan said his is the first to try to "address the male stereotypes about asking for help directly".

It's an ambitious task but Chan said he would be happy if his campaign simply raised awareness and started people talking about the issue.

ANI

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