WHY WE DO
Let's start with this...
The Brothers in Arms service definition.
Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK
BIA is a '21st Century Charity for the 21st Century male'
We believe in 'Prevention Through Self-Management'
We use digital technology that enables them to self-manage, engage and support their own mental health
It's an evidence-based smartphone application providing in-depth tools and support to improve mental wellbeing, created in partnership with Thrive Therapeutic, to be used by men and those that support them in Scotland
Included in the free service is access to The Live Coaching Programme an in-app text-based service that guides men to self-management of their own well-being and improved mental fitness
It is a private and secure system that lets you text-chat to a wellbeing coach at the touch of a button
The service is available 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)
We call it 'Prevention Through Self-Management' because waiting until a man reaches crisis before he gets help is like throwing a lifebuoy ring into the water when already drowning
Save the Male.
As a man, being affected by mental illness isn't a sign of weakness. The 21st century throws more and more at us that we as men are just not designed to cope with.
There's too much going on, and we can't be expected to handle it all on our own. Sooner or later you get man down.
In this modern world, everyone seems to be connected to everyone else through social media yet somehow all of these connections mean that we tend to talk 'at' each other rather than 'to' each other.
Looking for support doesn't make you any less of a man, in fact, it's the exact opposite.
The stereotype that 'women are emotional' and men should be the 'strong silent type' doesn't help either gender. We're all just people.
As a man sometimes we find it difficult to talk, or the opportunity doesn't present its self and we fear being judged for it being seen as a sign of weakness.
Our strategy is to reach out to men in Scotland no matter where (especially remote and rural areas) and to provide the tools and means that empower them to support their own mental-fitness through self-management in private and with confidence.
A Digital Safe Space.
We are a mental wellbeing platform for men and those that support them.
DIGITAL. To provide support.
FILM. To create awareness.
SOCIAL. To share the story.
We are self-funded and rely on donations from #Brothers and #Sisters many who have been personally affected by male suicide, who raise money on our behalf.
We see that as a big responsibility, taking their hard worked for money, many times it comes at a huge emotional cost, so is incumbent on us to use it as effectively and productively as possible.
We have set out to make BIA as efficient an operation as possible by making sure that costs are kept to a minimum so that we maximise the funds raised to go to the services we believe help men in Scotland support and manage their own mental fitness.
That is why we are volunteer-based, our office is in the founders back-garden and by using the internet, digital technology and film we can reach out and provide support.
We believe that our strategy has the capacity to reach every man in Scotland and then beyond because using these effective and 21st Century tools, we can scale up to meet demand both quickly and cost-effectively.
We connect via Wi-Fi.
We deliver through digital.
We provide support with a human touch.
We apply the same methods that any successful online business model uses, except our business is reducing male suicide.
In 2014 there were 6,109 suicides in the UK, of which 76%, or 4,623, were male.
Suicide currently stands as the biggest single killer of men aged under 45 in this country.
The ratio of male to female suicide has shown a sustained rise over the last 30 years.
In 1981 men accounted for 62% of suicides in this country.
This increased to 70% in 1988, 75% in 1995 and hit 78% in 2013. (Source: ONS)
At Brothers in Arms, we want to make people aware that suicide is a gender issue.
We want to challenge those social constraints that prevent men from seeking help when they need it.
And we want to support those affected by suicide and depression.
We believe that having a Digital Safe Space that allows men to access information and support on their own terms as a way to start the journey to managing their own mental-fitness
We at Brothers in Arms believe that there are social and cultural barriers that prevent men from speaking out.
From feedback we’ve received and research conducted men often say that they don’t feel comfortable expressing how they feel if they’re having a bad time.
As they are expected to be strong at all times.
“Rather than patronisingly insist men ‘talk more’, then blame them when they don’t, we have shown that perhaps it’s time to change how – and where – we listen to men.
And rather than expect men to self-present at their GPs and talk face to face, perhaps we need to take the conversation to them via technology we know they are already comfortable with” Ai and the Secret Life of Men
to ManUp and not doing so equates to weakness or failure as a man, and we become ManDown.
100% all of the time.
We believe in having a digital strategy that provides men in Scotland the means to support their own mental -fitness by using 'Prevention through Self-Management'
Brothers in Arms was launched as a pilot in East Dunbartonshire on the 17th June at the Milngavie Classic Car Show 2017, in response to the amount of male suicide that was happening in the local town of Kirkintilloch.
Inspired by The Calm Zone and Andy Man's Club and because there was nothing comparable in Scotland, we decided with the initial support of See Me Scotland and The East Dunbartonshire Association of Mental Health to create a powerful and effective campaign to directly reach out to men on their terms.
We are for Brothers hiding in plain sight...
Since then we have expanded from an awareness-raising website focussed on both men and their mental health and the high rate of male suicide in Scotland to providing support services using cutting edge technology that enables them support and self-manage their own mental-fitness, rather than waiting to reach crisis.
The Brothers in Arms website is filled with articles, stories and experiences that are there to both entertain and inform and to speak from the male point of view about being a man in today's society.
Our website also contains links, contacts, films and digital tools so that men in Scotland, their partners, friends and family can find support on particular issues.