Last year, New Zealand lost 685 of our own to suicide. With rates higher than ever, we often only hear silence surrounding the important issue, as social stigma and uncomfortable conversations get in the way of progress. In a move to go against the deafening quietness of mental illness, New Zealand Rugby and Movember have launched ‘A Moment Against Silence’.
In the usual show of support, sports games are started with a moment of silence, a moment to respect and reflect on a situation. Yet three out of four victims to suicide are men, who often stay silent during times of struggle, so flipping the usual and promoting healthy conversations was the goal for the Dentsu Aegis Network, New Zealand Rugby, and the Movember Foundation.
At 2:21pm this Saturday, just before kick-off at the All Blacks vs Tonga test in Hamilton, ‘A Moment Against Silence’ will be observed. The crowd at the ground will be encouraged not to stand in silence, but to make as much noise as they can to show support for our Kiwi men.
Ryan Jordan, Strategy Director at Dentsu Aegis Network says the suicide rate of 685 needs attention.
“The Movember Foundation is working hard to shift the behaviour from silence to talking, the most promoted form of proactive therapy for men’s mental health. Movember is a funding partner of the NZR’s HeadFirst programme and we thought what better way to visualise this behaviour than to work together to reframe a moment of silence, a common practice within rugby fixtures to recognise a loss or tragedy.”
Robert Dunne, Movember NZ Country Manager says, “I have been hugely excited to work with the Dentsu Aegis team, NZR and HeadFirst on ‘A Moment Against Silence’.
“This campaign is a true partnership with a network of organisations that have aligned values and passion for the cause. I have no doubt this campaign will positively affect the lives of many men in this country,” says Dunne.
The campaign launches today and has been promoted through All Blacks’ social media channels, ambassadors, TV, Outdoor and through integration into SKY rugby programming throughout the week. The campaign will peak at the All Blacks v Tonga Test at FMG Stadium Waikato this Saturday, 7 September, just before kick-off at 2:21pm.