Zurich Financial Services Australia and OnePath Life have renewed their 12-month partnership with Mr Perfect, the grassroots men’s mental wellbeing network encouraging conversation and connections across Australia through informal barbeques.
In their fourth year of partnership, Zurich and OnePath Life have supported Mr Perfect to expand to more than 40 locations in most states and territories around the country. The funding also enabled Mr Perfect to quickly scale up online services and support, in place of in-person meetups during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Zurich Financial Services Australia’s head of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Linda Griffin, said the partnership was committed to improving accessibility of mental wellbeing programs in the community.
According to research from the Centre for Social Impact, prevention and early intervention were some of the most important tools for supporting mental wellbeing.
Griffin said: “It’s our hope and strong belief that through participation in community programs like Mr Perfect, fewer Australians will reach a point of crisis in their mental health. We’ve seen firsthand through the various mental wellbeing programs we support that community-based programs serve a tremendous role”.
Mr Perfect founder Terry Cornick said awareness of mental health and wellbeing had improved among men in the five years since he started the program.
“When we first started Mr Perfect, even getting men to turn up was a challenge, let alone talk about their mental wellbeing,” Cornick said.
“That’s no longer the case. Our average attendance at BBQs has gone from five to more than 20 and people are more willing to open up. What we’re offering is a soft entry point into mental health awareness and support. It’s our hope that men come to our BBQs, have a meaningful conversation with someone they can relate to, and later reflect on whether they need to consider taking the next step in addressing their own mental health concerns.”
The partnership was in line with Zurich and OnePath Life’s mission to be champions of mental wellbeing in Australia by supporting early intervention and practical behavioural change.
Among the community programs that Zurich supported were: Tackle Your Feelings, delivering mental health training at community AFL clubs, The Raise Foundation, a youth mentoring organisation, and Beyond Empathy, an arts organisation that uses its influence to enrich the lives of indigenous youth.