Depression is often viewed as some sort of flaw or infirmity, but a new campaign is working to change that outlook one photo at a time.
The project, led by the Canadian mental health organization HeadsUpGuys, features visuals submitted by humen on how depression feelings and what it means to “feel better.” The aim is to help men realise they’re not isolated in their experience, according to the project’s coordinator, Joshua Beharry.
“The more “were talking about” depression, the more the stigma surrounding the illness erodes away, ” he told The Huffington Post. “Depression needs to be tackled head on … You wouldn’t try to tackle heart disease or diabetes on your own. It shouldn’t be any different for depression.”
The photos not only bringing awareness to depression, but are a much-needed the representatives from a highly stigmatized group of individuals who suffer from the disorder. Research shows that men are less likely than females to seek treatment.
“I think society places an emphasis on the need for men to be considered ‘strong, ‘ and a person with a mental illness is often considered to be ‘weak, ‘” said Robby Cavanaugh, who submitted photos. “For this reason, humen suffering from mental disease bottle their feelings up, and I believe this is a contributing factor as to why the suicide rate for men is so much higher than it is for women. They need encouragement to feel free to express their feelings and seek help, without anxiety of ridicule. “
Approximately 11 percent of Canadian humen will experience major depression at some phase in “peoples lives”, according to Canada’s public health agency. The condition also affects approximately 6 million American humen each year. Around the globe, nearly 350 million people suffer from depression.
Although the condition is reasonably common, the conversation is still somewhat quiet among humen — and that’s exactly why Nathan Milner says he decided to get involved by submitting images. As someone who has experienced mental health issues since he was a teen, he wanted to raise awareness about something that felt unbelievably personal to him.
“I want everyone to know that men’s depression is real. It takes lives and we all need to realize this, ” he said.
Milner also hopes the campaign fosters others to seek treatment if they feel like they may be battling the same issues.