Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Web Secret 450: Man Therapy
And I answer "it depends."
The reason is demographics. If you have mostly female employees, you are always going to have much higher utilization than if you have mostly male employees.
Men have greater difficulty seeking help than women. It's a stereotype, but unfortunately true.
In 2006, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment decided to tackle the challenge of male suicide prevention. Cactus, a Denver based ad agency, offered to do some pro bono work and come up with a campaign that would reach working aged men who were potentially high risk for suicide and unlikely to seek help on their own.
Their brilliant idea? Man Therapy, an interactive mental health campaign targeting working age men (25-54) that employs humor to cut through stigma and tackle issues like depression, divorce and anxiety. The campaign features the fictional Dr. Rich Mahogany, described by Adam Newman in the New York Times as “an affable, mustachioed, middle-aged man whose personality might be described as Dr. Phil meets Ron Burgundy...” The underlying message is that all men should be aware of their mental health, treat it like they would a broken leg and strive to get better.
The centerpiece of the campaign is the ManTherapy.org website, where men and their loved ones will find they have a virtual appointment with Dr. Mahogany. He greets visitors, makes them feel at ease and then provides an overview of what they can explore during their visit.
From there, visitors can navigate through Dr. Mahogany’s office where they can find useful information about men’s mental health including the Guy’s Guide to Gentlemental Health. Men can also choose to take an 18-question quiz to evaluate their own mental health, access resources and explore a wide range of actions, including accessing do-it-yourself tips, seeking therapy referral sources, linking to local support groups or a crisis line.
Here is a sample Man Therapy video:
I encourage you to explore every link on this innovative, entertaining website. The approach has been successfully exported to other countries and won countless awards.