Yesterday morning at dawn, 191 pairs of shoes were laid out on Bondi Beach. Rows of perfectly lined-up shoes covered the sand.
They represent the average number of Australian men who die from suicide every month.
The Movember Foundation – which funds programs to improve men’s health – is behind the initiative. The installation on November 1, the beginning of the annual Movember campaign, was set up to encourage people to take a step in the right direction when it comes to combatting men’s mental health.
Every pair of shoes was chosen deliberately; they spoke for adolescent men and older men. Farming and military shoes were included to represent people who are more at risk.
“These are shoes that were someone’s dad’s and son’s. We need to highlight that pain,” says Movember co-founder, Adam Garone.
Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australian men aged 11–15 years. It is responsible for twice as many as deaths as car accidents.
“When you put 191 shoes out on the beach, [people] can’t ignore it,” says Garone.
The installation’s purpose? “It’s all about putting the cause front and centre, highlighting we’ve made a lot of progress but there’s so much more work to be done.”
To find out how you can help visit the Movember Foundation website.
If you or anyone you know needs help call:
Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800
MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978
Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467
Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36
Headspace on 1800 650 890