SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Department of Health is launching a groundbreaking, humorous approach to providing men with resources to tackle depression, divorce, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues.
It’s called “Man Therapy,” and the goal is to help men maintain their mental health the “manly way.”
The dept. of health said adult men represented about three of every four suicide deaths in Utah in 2014.
This new effort is aimed at erasing the stigma surrounding mental health for working-aged men.
Health officials said “Man Therapy” is reshaping the conversation using humor to cut through stigma and tackle issues like depression and even suicidal thoughts head on, “the way a man would do it.”
According to ManTherapy.org, the site provides men approaching crisis and the people who care about them, a place to go and learn more about men’s mental health, examine their own mental health and consider a wide array of actions that will put them on the path to treatment and recovery.
The health department said the campaign brings to life a fictional character, Dr. Rich Mahogany, a man’s man who is dedicated to cutting through the denial and gives practical, useful advice for men.
“The straightforward and humorous approach of Man Therapy debunks the age-old stigma that says mental health disorders are an unmanly sign of weakness,” Kimball Gardner said, Program Director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Utah.
“The campaign’s racy humor may raise some eyebrows but when it comes to preventing suicide among this hard-to-reach audience, we needed to try something out-of-the-box that is still research-based,” Andrea Hood said, Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Utah Department of Health. “We expect to see similar success to that of other states.”
Man Therapy was developed in Colorado and is now available in Idaho, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
- More than 85,000 men have taken the Man Therapy 18-Point Head Inspection, a five-minute online quiz to assess a person’s mental health, and receive their individualized results and suggestions for therapy.
- More than 25,000 men have clicked on the national suicide crisis line phone number provided on the site.
- More than 11,000 men have clicked to identify a counselor or therapist.
- 83% of website visitors would recommend Man Therapy to a friend in need.
- 60% of website visitors would definitely or very likely take action and use the information and strategies provided to seek help and improve their mental health.
“This campaign goes beyond just awareness to really engage men and draw them into the conversation,” Kim Myers said, Suicide Prevention Coordinator with the Department of Human Services. “We feel it is critical to bring this important tool to Utah to reach both men and their loved ones. With Man Therapy, you can learn about mental health and the options to increase your mental health wellness range from do-it-yourself techniques all the way to professional therapy and resources.”
A total of 555 Utahns died from suicide in 2014.
All suicidal thoughts, behaviors, and attempts should be taken seriously.
Get help 24/7 by calling the UNI CrisisLine at (801) 587-3000 or the National Suicide Prevention LifeLine at 1-800-273-TALK.
Help is also available from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.