How to Get More Men to Try Therapy

For one thing, the double jeopardy men she interviewed did not consider themselves to be mentally unwell, so language about depression or mental illness didn’t resonate. Instead, they said the source of their problems was an overwhelming world — stressful jobs, financial concerns, conflicts with their partner and worries about their kids.

The second issue was that these men had been conditioned to be the strong ones, the ones that other people lean on. So the idea of ​​seeking help, especially for their minds, was a foreign and off-putting concept.

“I don’t want to say it’s harder for men, because everyone deals with their own struggles, but I think the stigma around it is that men don’t need to go to therapy,” said Rafael Gómez Jr., 22, who works at a software company in Los Angeles. Gómez started going to therapy after temporarily moving back home during the pandemic, something he initially hid from his parents.

Using the insights from her research, Dr. Spencer-Thomas partnered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the branding agency Cactus in 2012 to develop a public health campaign, called Man Therapy, that they hoped would engage men who identify with more traditional concepts of masculinity.

Man Therapy, despite its name, is not intended to be a replacement for formal mental health care. It’s a website designed to educate, reduce stigma and encourage men to seek help in times of crisis. In addition to providing links to the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and a therapist finder tool, the website also offers a screening questionnaire to help men evaluate their mental state and self-help tips.

These resources are fairly standard for mental health websites; it’s Man Therapy’s tone that is unique, using humor and masculine stereotypes to draw in men. Slogans splashed across the home page include, “It’s OK to cry, even when it’s not about sports” and “Feelings: they’re not just for the hippies.” A mustachioed fictional therapist, Rich Mahogany, who strongly resembles the “Parks and Recreation” character Ron Swanson, guides users through the site.

“Rather than trying to change hundreds of years of social norming for these men, we decided instead to try to meet men where they were,” said Jarrod Hindman, a co-founder of Man Therapy and currently chief operating officer at Sources of Strength, a youth suicide prevention program.

Written by trendingatoz

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