#ReachOut is a photography campaign that raises awareness of depression in men and urges men to seek support from friends, family members, and professional supports.
Far too often men wrongly believe that admitting they have a mental health problem makes them look weak. Growing up and listening to unrealistic expectations about ‘being a man’ or ‘acting tough’ builds barriers to men seeking support for mental health issues. When men face depression alone without seeking support the results can be tragic, as men account for 3-4 times the number of suicides as women – with depression being a leading cause. *
The reality is that depression has nothing to do personal weakness.
The campaign was created by HeadsUpGuys for #MensHealthWeek, June 12-18th, 2017.
“One day I was sitting in my house thinking, “I wonder what is happening in the box next door?” Literally I sat 10 feet from my closest , yet I was all alone. I wondered if my time spent here, whether in person or online, was even making a dent in the world. After traveling to Indiana, for a photography meet up, and meeting 30 people I had never known in person before, it became very clear that even in the darkest of times, I can and do reach others, and it is always possible to make that even more of a reality.”
“My own battles with mental health is in many ways my muse, and the darkest days series is a direct reflection of that. Featuring dark heavy clouds (Battles) broken by flashes of bright sunlight (hope, love of family and friends) ‘Even in the darkest days there is always hope and help for clearer days’”
– Adam Williams, professional photographer, Sydney, Australia.
“When we become trapped in our own thoughts, we may leave slack on the lines of communication between our friends and loved ones. In order to persevere, we must remember to keep our lines taught with the transmissions of care and support for each other.”
– Nicolas Bruno, fine art photographer, Northport, New York, U.S.A.
“Isolating yourself only makes things worse. When all your instincts tell you to retreat inward, find and follow the path that leads back from darkness. It can be hard to find the strength to do it, but reaching out is crucial.”
– Tommy Ingberg, visual artist, Nyköping/Stockholm, Sweden.
“When things get heavier and everything is coming down on you, give it your all to reach out for help. There is no shame in asking for help, we are only human and we shouldn’t carry everything on our shoulders because it would only cause our downfall.”
– Mike Alegado, Conceptual & Fine Art Portrait Photographer, Manila, Philippines.
‘A brief reminder of solitude’ from the series Abstract Peaces
“The image reimagines solitude not as a form of loneliness, but an opportunity to reconnect (or in this context, reach out) firstly with yourself. It can be a bit challenging during bouts of depression as the closer you think you are to that self, the further away you feel at the same time – but it’s the process in-between that is crucial. Becoming familiar and valuing self. Knowing you are worthy and deserving of love and support from others.”
– Tsoku Maela, Visual Artist, Johannesburg/Cape Town, South Africa.
“Sometimes it can be the hardest part but if you reach out you never know who will be there to pull you through.”
– Nathan Milner, fine art portrait photographer, Melbourne, Australia.
Reach Out For A Lift (1/3)
“By reaching out to those around us we are able to allow them the opportunity to help pick us up and help carry us through the difficult times that we may be facing.”
Reach Out For Reminders (2/3)
“By reaching out to those who care about us, we can be reminded of who we are and that we are more than just the depression or anxiety we may be facing. Our loved ones are able to remind us of who we are as a whole.”
Reach Out For Protection (3/3)
“By reaching out to those in our lives we can allow them to provide us a chance to help care for and guide us through the difficulties we may be experiencing.”
– Joel Robison, conceptual photographer based out of British Columbia, Canada.
“For me this piece symbolises that feeling of lightness that comes with being honest about how you’re feeling, not just with others but also with yourself. Sort of like a break in the clouds, or a little flower coming up amongst the dirt, when you’re able to articulate what you’re struggling with it almost becomes something separate to you rather than something which is so overwhelming. That often makes it easier to begin to appreciate things again, once you’ve ‘externalised’ your feelings.”
“I was thinking about the idea of cleansing with this image – washing away the dirt and the darkness and moving forwards to a better place. When I’m down it sometimes feels as if I’m attracting all these negative feelings, like they’re sticking to me and weighing me down in a physical sense. So this is about finding little things which help to clear your view, or cleanse, so to speak – things like exercising or talking to someone you trust or even just taking care of yourself even if you don’t manage to get anything else done. Those little acts all help to break down the intensity of what you’re feeling.”
– Harry Woodgate, fine art photographer and illustrator, St Albans, United Kingdom.
“There’s always someone you could talk to. Often closer than you think.”
– Adam Hague, conceptual self portrait artist and photographer, Brunei and UK.
“If you or someone you know is in crisis or having suicidal thoughts please reach out. You are not alone. Here are some resources.” http://www.stop-homophobia.com/suicideprevention.htm
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