There's never a bad time to fight for mental health awareness - here's how to help

Jun 15 2018, 5:55 pm

Mental health challenges are pervasive and invisible. That’s why they’re so hard to understand and treat; they’re both everywhere and nowhere. And acknowledging that is the first step forward.

Depression stands out as it affects millions of men every year, and it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to HeadsUpGuys. The tragedy is that many men buy into long-held myths about depression which prevent them from reaching out for support.

Untreated depression is one of the major risk factors for suicide. And the suicide rate among men is about three times higher than that for women; this is an issue that can no longer be ignored.

There is help out there

In 2015, Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, a professor of psychiatry at UBC, founded HeadsUpGuys to support men and help them fight depression by providing tips, tools, information about professional services, and stories of success. A free resource, HeadsUpGuys has been visited by more than half a million people from around the globe.

During the months of June and July, which includes Men’s Health Week, HeadsUpGuys is running a fundraising campaign where any donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a philanthropic family, up to $100,000. Dr. Ogrodniczuk recently spoke about the project on The Peak and you can listen to his interview here. You can also help make a difference by donating to HeadsUpGuys until July 31.

In a recent interview, Brad Newell, the King Of Floors and owner of Kings Links golf course, spoke about why his entire family are donating and the importance of HeadsUpGuys as a critical resource for men.

“As men, we’ve been taught for generations that showing vulnerability, sadness or other emotions are signs of weakness. We’re told we should just “snap out of it”. And if we don’t talk about it and it goes on too long, we withdraw, close down or shut people out,” said Newell.

“If you or someone you know might be suffering from depression, I can tell you that there is help, hope, and people available to get you back on track. I know there aren’t a lot of places where men and their families can find the support and resources they need which is why our family business is a big supporter of HeadsUpGuys.” 

Newell notes that although more than 20,000 people visit the site each month, he knows “there are many more that could use the services and information” on HeadsUpGuys. You can listen to his interview below where he talks about the things that men don’t talk about.

For more information on how HeadsUpGuys provides support and help to men battling depression, visit Together, we can help the men in our lives and prevent more tragic losses of life to suicide. You can join the HeadsUpGuys fundraising effort by making a donation.

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