HELENA – It’s been about three and a half months since Lewis and Clark Public Health launched its Man Therapy campaign and we’re getting a first look at how it’s doing so far.
The campaign looks to cut through the stigma associated with mental health issues like depression and suicide and get people connected with resources they might need.
In 2017, there were 19 suicides in Lewis and Clark County. Of those, 15 were men.
“Based on the rate of suicide among working age men, we decided to implement a multi-media campaign to educate about mental health and target that population,” explains Lewis and Clark Public Health Community Health Division Administrator Jacqueline Isaly. “So Man Therapy is an anti-stigma campaign targeting working age men here in Lewis and Clark County.”
Those involved with the Man Therapy program say since the website launched, there have been 924 new users.
Of those, 199 people utilized the mental health screener. And 25 people used the Red Phone option, which gives them access to the suicide prevention lifeline online chat and the phone number for the lifeline.
Suicide Prevention Advocate Jess Hegstrom says they are pleased to see people are accessing the website.
“We’re excited and we just want to do more to keep the spark going, the momentum and just really make sure that this program is well recognized within the community,” says Hegstrom. “So, for example, what I would like to see is if you’re aware of man therapy tell a friend about it and if you see something online or on Facebook, share it – just let people know about the program.”
Lewis and Clark Public Health is hosting regular events in connection with Man Therapy, including “bro-ga” yoga, sausage making, and a facial hair contest.
Those events will continue into the new year. You can find more information on the events and the screening tool here: mantherapy.org