University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work (UMSSW) launches a new public health campaign and study evaluation, Man Therapy Michigan, targeted at working-aged men to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in men ages 25-54, which is the highest number of suicide deaths among any age/gender group. Man Therapy uses stories of hope, resilience, and recovery, coupled with humor, to reduce stigma and reshape the conversation around suicide prevention and men’s mental health.
Men approaching crisis, and their loved ones, can access Men Therapy’s online resources (www.mantherapy.org) to learn more about men’s mental health, examine their own well-being and consider a wide array of actions that can support them on a path to treatment and recovery. Men and their loved ones will have the option to explore local and national mental health resources, read real-life stories by men who have experienced mental health challenges, access a 20-Point Head Inspection where men can get a free and anonymous feedback of where they excel and where they can improve their mental health, and more.
Website visitors are greeted by Dr. Rich Mahogany – a character created to make visitors feel at ease and provide an overview of what they will find and explore during their online Man Therapy experience. Dr. Mahogany is a man’s man who is dedicated to cutting through the stigma with a fresh approach using his rapier wit, odd sense of humor, straightforward approach and practical advice for men. His tone debunks the age-old stigma that says mental health disorders are an unmanly sign of weakness.
Man Therapy Michigan is part of a larger statewide initiative, Preventing Suicide in Michigan Men (PRiSMM); a comprehensive multi-component collaboration designed to reduce the number of suicide deaths and attempts among Michigan men ages 25 and older by at least 10 percent over five years. The PRiSMM program is funded through a five-year grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Man Therapy initially launched in Colorado on July 9, 2012, as the result of a unique partnership between Cactus, a Denver-based advertising agency, and the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This new approach to men’s mental health issues has since launched in several states across the U.S., as well as internationally.
Man Therapy Michigan does not provide crisis response or clinical services. If you think you or a loved one may need immediate help, please go to your local emergency department or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for 24/7, free and confidential support. A list of mental health resources in Michigan can also be found at www.mantherapy.org.
About the University of Maryland School of Social Work
The University of Maryland School of Social Work, founded in 1961, is highly ranked and respected. Its mission is to develop practitioners, leaders, and scholars to advance the well-being of populations and communities and to promote social justice. As national leaders, they create and use knowledge for education, service innovation, and policy development.