Overarching goals for Man Therapy include:

  1. Improving social norms around mental health among men and the general population;  
  2. Increasing help-seeking behavior among men for a variety of health and mental health issues, leading to an increase in men seeking available resources (including those provided on the site); and
  3. Reducing rates of suicidal ideation and deaths among men in the long term.

Preliminary evaluation efforts demonstrate that the program is reaching the desired target audience and having the intended effect:


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  • 78% of viewers are men
  • 78% are between the ages of 25 and 64 years
  • 15% are active-duty members of the military or veterans
  • 83% would recommend the website to a friend in need
  • 73% said the 18-point head inspection helped direct them to the appropriate online resources
  • 51% agreed or strongly agreed that they were more likely to seek help after visiting the site
  • Viewers stay on the website an average of 6 minutes

At 4 key junctures in the website experience, pop-up questions are presented to participants (n = 7933) to get their impressions of the Man Therapy program. Participant satisfaction ratings for these experiences are high:

  • 83% would recommend the site to a friend in need
  • 51% agreed or strongly agreed that they were more likely to seek help after visiting the site
  • 73% said the 18-point head inspection helped direct them to the appropriate resources on the web
  • 78% were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of the Man Therapies
  • 67% were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of Tales of Triumph

Conclusion

Dr. Rich Mahogany has reached people all over the world, has made many laugh, and has made mental health accessible for many men. Man Therapy and the innovative strategies the program employs hold great promise for being the bridge between men struggling with mental health problems and the interventions that can save their lives.

Sally Spencer-Thomas, PsyD, is CEO and co-founder of the Carson J. Spencer Foundation, a Denver-based nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging people in suicide prevention.

References

1. Moller-Leimkuhler AM. Barriers to help-seeking by men: a review of sociocultural and clinical literature with particular reference to depression. J Affect Dis. 2002;71:1-9.

2. Mental Health America. Ranking America’s mental health:  An analysis of depression across the states. Washington, DC; Thompson Healthcare: 2007.

3. Davies J-A, Waldon S. “Suicide: men at risk.” The Age. 2004.  Available at: http://about.theage.com.au 

4. Addis ME, Mahalik JR. Men, masculinity, and the contexts of help seeking. Am Psychol. 2003;58:5-14.