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Mass. website launched as part of male suicide prevention campaign

April 3, 2015
by Julia Brown, Associate Editor
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Screening for Mental Health, Inc. has launched MassMen.org, a comprehensive website providing men and those close to them with mental health information, anonymous screenings for common mental health disorders and suicide, as well as state and local resources.

Sponsored by the state Department of Public Health and regional suicide prevention coalitions affiliated with the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention, the website is part of a statewide campaign launched in response to increasing suicide rates among working men in the state.

For 15 years, men ages 25 to 64 years old have made up 57% (or 1.7 million) of the suicides in Massachusetts. Data also show that the rate and number of suicides for working-age men has been increasing since 2007.

The campaign aims to communicate directly to men about their health and well-being.

MassMen.org also provides a gateway to ManTherapy.org, another website aiming to encourage men to care for themselves and seek help before mental or emotional issues develop into a crisis.

The website features "Dr." Rich Mahogany, an actor playing a made-up therapist, who uses a relatable mix of humor and candor to help visitors feel comfortable. In a series of amusing videos, Mahogany comes off as a "regular guy" and gives men the opportunity to navigate problems in their lives such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems and substance abuse. He even offers humorous—yet practical—therapeutic solutions.

The website includes:

  • The "18-Point Head Inspection," a free, private self-screening, written with a tongue-in-cheek approach;
  • "Gentlemental Health," which provides helpful information in jargon-free, male-friendly language;
  • "One-on-None Therapy," an A-to-Z catalog of witty self-help suggestions chosen with men's needs in mind; and
  • "Pro Therapy," a search tool that helps men find local, professional assistance.

According to a release, messages used across the website are based on communication methods proven to be effective with men. The Man Therapy website was initially launched in Colorado in 2012 through a partnership with the Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, Cactus advertising agency and Carson J. Spencer Foundation.

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