The University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Social Work (UMSSW) announces the launch of a new public health campaign and study evaluation, Man Therapy Michigan. Man Therapy Michigan is a statewide campaign that targets working-aged men to combat the stigma surrounding mental health and suicide.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in men ages 25 to 54. It is the highest number of suicide deaths among any age or gender group. Man Therapy uses stories of hope, resilience, and recovery, paired with humor, to help reduce the stigma and reshape conversations around suicide prevention and men’s mental health.
“We are excited to share Man Therapy throughout the state,” said Jodi Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP, professor and principal investigator of the Man Therapy Michigan evaluation study being conducted by UMSSW. “Our prior work in Michigan testing Man Therapy demonstrated success, and we are looking forward to connecting even more men and their loved ones with resources and hope through this free online program.”
Men who are approaching a crisis and their loved ones can access Man Therapy’s online resources. These resources will help men and their loved ones 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. The website gives visitors a chance 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 free and anonymous feedback on where they excel and where they can improve their mental health, and more.
The statistics of Michigan suicide rates in men are staggering. It’s the 10th leading cause of death for men in Michigan. What’s more, 76.5% of communities don’t have enough mental health providers to service residences in 2020 (according to federal guidelines). To help encourage men to face their mental health, the website features Dr. Rich Mahogany, a character who uses wit, humor, and straightforwardness to help destigmatize men’s mental health.
Man Therapy Michigan is just a part of a larger statewide initiative, Preventing Suicide in Michigan Men (PRiSMM). This is a comprehensive multi-component collaboration that works 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. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
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 the local emergency department or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support.