We know you care about mental health. It is an issue The Good Men Project has been writing about and addressing for years because one of the most important subjects that our society grapples with is mental health. How do we attend to it? How do we cope when we or our loved ones struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder? How can we best support ourselves and care for those we love? How can we shift away from a culture that stigmatizes mental health to one that openly addresses mental health as part of everyone’s general health? And because of societal pressures to “man up” and the stigmas associated with mental health and masculinity, this is an even more complex issue for men to deal with.
We formed the Men’s Mental Health Social Interest Group at The Good Men Project to come together as a community to examine the stigma and prejudice against mental health issues in our culture that often prevents us — and men in particular — from getting the support that we need, and to work to de-stigmatize mental health issues.
Here is what we are doing at The Good Men Project that is new and innovative:
1) Weekly phone calls to create and build a community. We are no longer simply writing and publishing posts to help men deal with mental health issues as individuals and in our larger culture, but we now holding weekly calls designed to grow a community and create new leaders in the conversation. These calls are a part of our new initiative, Social Interest Groups, where like-minded people participate in weekly phone calls and then go out and create art, become activists, and connect with others. For the Men’s Mental Health Social Interest Group, led by Michael Kasdan and now by Shawn Henfling, the people on the set of calls we did came together to create a Call For Submissions on the mental health topics and stories we as a community want to see written about. We also decided to come together to create and produce a video/public service announcement to help others.
The results was a video in which eight men shared from the heart to show that everyone is dealing with something and that those dealing with mental health issues are not weak, just human, and that there is no shame in mental illness. We hope that this encourages others to share their own personal storys (Note: You need to be gold or bronze premium member of The Good Men Project to join the calls).
Our newest group starts on JANUARY 11th. If you join, you will receive call-in information by email before the group begins.
(Information on how to join is in this link.)
Also, feel free to email [email protected]
“I think that we can really effect change when a group of people are gathered together for a common cause, particularly when we have a media company with the resources to back it up.” — M.D.
2) We also have Facebook group to keep a cohesive community and get content and art out to the world. The Men’s Mental Health Facebook Group now has scores of members—and we’ve only just begun. Although this is a closed group, anyone can join with permission. You need not be a premium member nor part of GMP in any way—-you only need to care about issues of men’s mental health in our society. This is an easy, community-oriented way of getting people to take the first step to becoming a community of activists.
3) We also offer classes to teach people how to build a platform, create art and viral hits, become more politically involved and create social change. People tell us our classes change them immediately and bring them results over time. See our full schedule of courses here. (For custom classes for your group, non-profit, school or corporation, email [email protected])
4) Our insightful and impactful content that approaches mental health from a wide variety of viewpoints. Here is a post that has some of our very best posts on mental health. We also encourage men to share their stories. The more people who share their stories, the more light is shone on these invisible illnesses, and the more the stigma of living with mental illness is reduced. Our goal is to publish at least on new post per day on this topic. Anyone interested in contributing to this conversation can SUBMIT HERE. We accept both original work and previously published work.
“It’s a way to do something positive and constructive in a short amount of time that will have a lasting impact.” — P.M.
As you can see—this is a multi-media, multi-faceted, strategically organized plan to grow the activist community of people stepping up to build a community around men’s mental health and to help change our larger culture to de-stigmatize mental health issues.
Our hope is that you will share this information with anyone you know that wants to work to on this issue. There are numerous ways people can actively participate free of charge. For those who want to help us take our resources to the next level, please consider becoming a member of The Good Men Project here.
As Dr. Andrew Solomon stated during his interview with us, that by tackling this as a community we have the potential to impact people and change the world in a profound way:
“One of the primary struggles in all the worlds I have written about is the sense each of us has that his or her experience is isolating. A society in which that isolation is curtailed is really a better society.”
Please forward this post to anyone you know who you think might help us to build a community around men’s mental health and to help change our larger culture to de-stigmatize mental health issues. Help us build a community of activists.
Photo credit: Flickr/nanagyei