Ben Akers lived in Sydney for 6 years and worked at Droga5, GPY&R before joining the behaviour change agency, Republic of Everyone. Now, he lives in the UK and creates films, ideas and things that have purpose and are good for the world.
One of these is a film that’s very close to Akers’ heart. You see, Akers’ childhood best friend, Steve, took his own life. 12 men a day take their own lives in UK. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45. Akers’ personal project is trying to save the lives of other men who, like Steve, suffer from depression.
Akers has spent this year preparing a feature length documentary which will use the tragedy of Steve’s death to save other men. In the 23 interviews so far, Akers and his team have talked to Steve’s family, men who struggle with – or have struggled with – depression, experts in the field and those who are trying to create change and inspire others to do the same.
The project has done one round of crowdfunding and now needs more money to complete the film.
If you can help, please do that here.
So far the project has filmed:
Simon Gunning – CEO of CALM
Danny Sculthorpe – ex-Professional rugby player.
Dr Kate Wood – GP.
DR John Barry – Co-Founder of The Male Psychology Network.
JC – Co- Founder of Movember.
Chevy Rough – The Mindful Mover.
Scott Shillum & Steve Wallington – Founders of The Photography Movement.
John Logue – Founder of We are Hummingbirds.
Blue O’Connor – Founder of Kings.
(a social enterprise that’s profits got to mens mental health projects).
Luke Ambler – Founder of Andy’s Man Club.
And many of Steve’s family and friends.
The project needs money now for editing, post production and the final days of filming, so that it can launch on December 2, which would have been Steve’s 43rd Birthday and take it on tour. This will involve a screening, followed by a Q&A with people from the area who feature in the film and an audience discussion about male mental health and what everyone can do about it. A discussion that, clearly, the world needs to have.
Here is the film’s trailer:
And here is Ben’s story about the project: