News, Insights and Stories from the Australian and New Zealand tech ecosystem.

Social Entrepreneur To Receive LIFE Award

Ehon Chan, social entrepreneur and founder of online campaign urging men to ‘Soften The F Up’, has confirmed, the team will take home Suicide Prevention Australia’s LIFE Award under its ‘youth’ category.

Hosted by Suicide Prevention Australia, the 24-year-old will be attending the awards ceremony to take place at The Dome in Melbourne tomorrow evening, in conjunction with International World Suicide Prevention Day, acknowlegding contributions made to suicide prevention in Australia.

“I was told that we were selected under its ‘youth’ category, which is crazy considering we launched less than 2 months ago,” Ehon says.

“It’s a bit overwhelming to be honest, and difficult to comprehend, as in the past it’s been awarded to large not- for-profit organisations working in the mental health field,” he added.

Ehon says an encouraging number of men have been reaching out to him regarding how they can contribute and find out more information about mental health. He says the campaign is creating a platform where men are connected to the appropriate help by sharing their stories.

The medical science graduate says the STFU crew have seen an incredible increase in visits to the website. “There are days where we have seen up to 2,000 unique people viewing the site per day but it’s safe to say, the average number is over 500 unique visits [per day].”

Since launching the online campaign on July 15th, Ehon says the journey has been motivating as they have been flooded with project opportunities and requests to partner up with health and well-being organizations.

“At the moment we cannot disclose such information because of the legality around it, but once we have signed the papers, we are then able to announce who we are partnering up with,” he said.

Despite being bound by confidentiality, Ehon can safely say they are partnering with a number of different organisations based on different projects around mental health and well being. “With one [organisation] in particular, we are in plans of partnering up for a project to go to schools and run peer-to-peer shops about mental health issues,” he says.

Ehon will be in Sydney next month talking about social entrepreneurship and mental health at Macquarie Universities TEDx program – an independent self-organised event “devoted to ideas worth spreading” – with this year’s theme being social awareness, engagement and change.

For more information on Macquarie Universities TEDx program to be held during October 2011, visit www.tedxmacquarieuniversity.com





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