UPPER THUMB – Over the past decade, 83% of suicides in the Thumb Community Health Partnership (TCHP) four-county area were by men.
TCHP’s coverage area includes Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola and Lapeer counties.
In order to combat the staggering number of male suicides in the region, TCHP launched Man Therapy in February last year.
Man Therapy is a campaign to reduce the stigma around mental health issues and let men know it’s okay to seek help. The campaign aims to educate men about mantherapy.org, a website that offers advice on coping with depression and other mental health issues, as well as a list of local services to help men cope. to these problems.
The campaign and website use “masculine humour” to eliminate stigma and tackle issues like depression, divorce and even suicidal thoughts head-on.
“Over the past year, we have had great success with Man Therapy,” said Kari Granz, TCHP Program Coordinator. “Through our outreach efforts, we’re raising awareness about the importance of mental health, showing men that it’s important and also okay to talk about and deal with their mental health.”
Since the launch of Man Therapy in the Thumb, more than 1,600 people have accessed mantherapy.org and 362 have completed the online Head Inspection mental health screening offered on the site. The 20-Point Head Inspection is a free, anonymous tool that allows men and their loved ones to reflect on their mental health and offers a range of actions to help improve their mental health.
“Additionally, several local men have volunteered to be in videos talking about how mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression affect men in our area,” Granz said. “These videos have been shared on social media as well as in presentations at local events such as suicide prevention marches and statewide events such as the Kevin Song Conference. They are still beginning great conversations After watching these videos, people in the public and on social media often share stories of men in their lives who have struggled with their mental health, and how Man Therapy would help them.
Granz credited much of the success to the many companies and organizations that helped promote man-made therapy to community members. TCHP has partnered with over 80 different businesses and organizations in the community over the past year to help provide men with confidential and private mental health information and services that they can access anywhere. or using their phone or laptop.
“Our stats show it works,” Granz said.
Granz added: “At the events we attended, we heard from many relatives of men who died by suicide. They said they wished this program had been available when their loved one was still alive because they would have seen mental health in a different light. And that’s exactly what Man Therapy is trying to do. Man Therapy tries to reshape the conversation about men’s mental health and show them that it’s okay to not be OK and provide them with tools and resources to help them improve their mental health.
Following its success, TCHP recently announced the continuation of the program over the next year. Additionally, the State of Michigan launched Man Therapy in August 2021, as part of a larger statewide program called Preventing Suicide in Michigan Men (PRISMM).
“We met regularly with the PRISSM State Team to share ideas and learn from each other,” Granz said. “We can report what we’ve done in the Thumb and what human therapy marketing tools are working in our rural area. At the same time, we can learn the direction the state is taking so that our messages are unified and aligned. This relationship strengthens both of our programs because we share the same goal: to encourage men to start addressing their mental health issues before they reach a crisis point. »
For more information about Man Therapy, or to help spread the word about it, contact Granz at 810-895-2918, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.