Kyle Deans and Jordan Lategan, first-year bachelor of arts in visual communications students from Red & Yellow, founded the '60.4.60' campaign.
The project is a student-run campaign and aims to help raise awareness focusing on mental health for men in South Africa.
Jake Banks and Benjamin Stannard, also first-year Red & Yellow students, are part of the success of the campaign; they are amplifying awareness each day via the '60.4.60' Instagram
According to the World Health Organisation, 13 774 suicides were reported in South Africa in 2019. Of these deaths, 10 861 were men, while 2 913 were women. This translates to rates of 37.6 per 100 000 for men and 9.8 per 100 000 for women. South Africa recorded the third-highest suicide rate out of all African countries in the report with 23.5 per 100 000 population.
The name of the campaign is based on global online research that shows 60 men die by suicide every 60 minutes of every day.
In November, Deans and his team and supporters will run 60km in 30 days to honour men who had committed suicide, men who cannot speak out and men who battle with mental health.
The team was inspired by Henriëtte Rademan, lecturer at Red & Yellow, who organised a mini-campaign brief to show students how art direction can make a difference in the world.
Deans says that the 60.4.60 campaign is important to him because he struggled with anxiety from a young age. "I sought professional help before talking with my friends about my challenges because I felt that they would not understand and, in general, men simply never talk about their mental health," adds Deans.
"After countless therapy sessions, I started speaking to my peers. We all regularly speak about our mental health. Some days are good, some are bad, but we have support from one another to help us," Deans says.
Deans advises men battling with mental health to not suffer in silence, but rather to speak to their family or peers and to not be afraid to seek professional help if they need it.
Deans further encourages people to follow the campaign on Instagram @60_for_sixty
. Anyone looking to get involved is encouraged to help spread the word.
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