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One Broken Mom
1.13 Men Have Feelings Too Apparently
July 31, 2018 Amee Quiriconi
In this episode, Amee talks with Dr. Nathaan Demers. He is the VP & Director of Clinical Programs at Grit Digital Health, the team behind ManTherapy.org. Grit Digital Health is a business comprised of specialists in behavioral health, wellness, technology and marketing communications. In the world of mental health, they are doing work transcending barriers like stigmas and creating access points to allow people to get the support they need when they need it. "Working aged men (25-54 years old) account for the largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S. These men are also the least likely to receive any kind of support. They don't talk about it with their friends. They don't share with their family. And they sure as heck don't seek professional treatment. They are the victims of problematic thinking that says mental health disorders are unmanly signs of weakness." Resources: www.mantherapy.org https://gritdigitalhealth.com/ https://cactusinc.com/

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:17Hello, you are listening to one broken on a podcast dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, parenting, and self improvement. I am the host for Kone, one broken mom is not a family show. It is intended for adults only and may contain adult language. Sometimes the topics are serious, but you can count on the episodes to be entertaining. Also, when broken, mom is not offering any psychiatric or medical diagnosis. We're just here giving away useful and important information, so if you're ready to hear real talk by real people so that we can all get better together,

Speaker 2:0:47then you're in the right place and welcome. Today I am speaking with Dr Nuthen. He is the vice president and director of clinical programs@gritdigitalhealthandtheyaretheteambehindthisamazingwebsitethatIfoundcalledmantherapy.org. Grit. Digital health is a business, comprise a specialist in behavioral health wellness technology in marketing communications, and in the world of mental health. They are doing work by transcending barriers like stigmas and creating access points to allow people to get to the support they need when they need it. Welcome. Thanks, happy to be here. Um, so to tell everybody how I landed, you know, on the site, I do spend some time researching, you know, just kind of like hunting and pecking out in the, in the World Wide Web and one day and it was shortly after the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, which, you know, as many people know, came on the heels of kate spade suicide in early June. Um, I was out researching mental health and suicide prevention because also is the mother of a son.

Speaker 2:1:47I'm particularly concerned about the fact that men between the ages of 45 and 54 represent the most number of suicides, fatalities in the United States. And so I don't worry about making sure that my son is mentally healthy now as a 16 year old boy, which feels impossible at times, but I know that I have to prepare him for his entire life. So that freaks me out sometimes. And so I, you know, I bury myself in there to see what I find. But that's also what inspires me to learn more about men's mental health and what I need to know about mothering. My son and so, well one day I'm on this hunt, I land on this website called man therapy.org and what I see what looks like Ron Swanson in parks and recs in these videos, um, and he's actually Dr Rich Mahogany and the title of this website is man therapy.

Speaker 2:2:35It's a physical for your feelings, but you get to keep your pants on. And I was hooked. So the whole page has this obviously macho image with it, but it's tongue in cheek and it's talking about all kinds of mental health related taboos and stuff. And I'm loving it. I mean it's like inappropriate inappropriate at times. And so I reach out immediately to talk to the infamous Dr Rich Mahogany and I suspect this is not a real person. I do this and because I need to have somebody on my show from this place and sure enough, right away I get a reply from, from Dr [inaudible]. And we had this amazing conversation about, um, about what they're doing and getting to know each other. And so today he's back on with me and we're going to talk about why man therapy exists and what it's all about. So nuthen, I have to know how did this whole thing gets started with man therapy.org.

Speaker 3:3:27Yeah, it's a pretty great story with as all good stories have ups and downs and everything in between. But I'm back in about 2007, 2008. Colorado unfortunately historically has been very high on the number of suicides completed. And with that, the office of Suicide Prevention really wanted to address that. And when we look at a lot of the data, we quickly see that unfortunately males are carrying the burden of a suicide deaths and more often than not attempt to be with a firearm. And we know if we wait to reach a man and crisis who has a loaded firearm, the likelihood of us being able to intervene as incredibly slim. And I'd argue just not doable. So that the challenge for us was how do we get men talking about mental health and give them the tools they need long before a crisis is occurring. But we have the idea of how about we use some humor and create a confidential and anonymous place that men can go to explore that.

Speaker 2:4:23Yeah. Colorado is one of those states. And I noticed with the statistics of suicide that it's feels and seems like the rural states, you know, the lowly populated ones also seem to have the higher incidences of men and it's the guns. And I've said this before with people like, you know, more people die by suicide, have firearms than they do shooting each other. And our conversation is in the wrong place when it talks to, you know, about preventing deaths and stuff. Um, so you know, the tongue in cheek approach of the, you know, macho image because guys, you know, just don't understand feelings or they're too big and bulky to do this. And I've heard this so many times, you know, from other women. And what's scary is I hear it from women who are like my age. You know, that I feel like we should all know better. But they have this belief that men just don't understand feelings. That there's some sort of biological precedence that prevents a man from ever getting feelings and we should all just accept that and I'm. I'm personally a little scared of that idea. I think it's a dangerous idea. Is there any truth to that miss?

Speaker 3:5:28That's a pretty big brush stroke of course, and I think speaking in generalities is always a difficult thing to do, but in my opinion as a clinical psychologist, what it really comes down to is culture is absolutely a thing and when I think about our country, we were very much formed on the principles of independence and then go back a hundred years or even 50 years where there were more stereotypical gender roles. Men take care of. Kids are out being the breadwinners, are fighting the civil war and things like that and unfortunately we've just had this acculturation process shouldn't fail, feel their failing and if you do, you're not being manly or going all the way to the other end of the spectrum. Your womanly, for example, and I think what it really comes down to this is kind of getting a little bit technical, but when I think of the gender binary, you're either male or female and if you're a man, you have to subscribe to all this criteria and if you're a female, you have to subscribe to all this criteria. When in reality there's a lot of different places to be on that continuum and you can be a guy, but talk about your feelings. You can be a woman and loves football and things like that.

Speaker 2:6:36Yeah. There's a book actually that I want to read which is the history of the American childhood and so it's on my, my cell, my shelf. I bought it. I just haven't gotten down to that book yet. Talking about the evolution of Childhood in America and how much has changed and you know, when you go back like even two generations, you know, and I've done this in my own household and family, just kind of understanding or intergenerational links, you know, you get to the time of the depression where, you know, that's another time in our life and our culture where there was a high suicide rate for men was during that depression and at that point in time, you know, kids had to be, you know, mostly boys were pulled out as soon as they were telling us and forced out into field, especially if they were in rural America.

Speaker 2:7:20They were out working, you know, on a farm and they were put to work as little humans, you know, and little adults and girls were put into their own roles and everybody kind of just kept parenting down from that. And then I think about would that generational piece is that then those kids grew up and they got to go to world war. I mean imagine the stress of that and yeah, you just kind of keep. It got perpetuated with no intervention of changing any of that stuff. Do you, you know, I saw a study once, I can't quote it, maybe you know what it is, but somebody had said that they thought there was some brain differences between men and women. That may be some factor that's in there and, but I don't know if it's really a strong wind. Is that something that you've heard that, you know, maybe processing information is a little bit differently between two

Speaker 3:8:07women. So that's not something that I've done a ton of work around. I do know there are some very minute structural differences between men and, and the male and female brain over. I personally don't buy that. That leads to all the differences that we have when it comes to this sort of stereotypical gender roles. So I just don't know enough about that to really.

Speaker 2:8:29Sure. So when we, um, I guess one of the things that I then observed with around this particular topic is that if a woman has that bias, um, they, they tend to just exclude with their sons even bothering talking to them about emotions and feelings. And, um, you know, but yet, you know, maybe talk about it more with their daughters and stuff and have you practiced, um, any, uh, had a practice in where you've treated men directly as a, as a psychotherapist?

Speaker 3:8:59I have, I've worked with adolescents, college students, families. I'm really across the continuum as I can absolutely say that that system and the idea that parents are treating their young boys and young girls differently, absolutely contributes to that. And the most simple example, and this is kind of Cliche, but a lot of times people say, oh good boy, you're so strong, you're big, you're independent. And then girls are, oh, you're so pretty. And things like that. And of course that exacerbate over time when you're constantly saying, oh, you have to be, get up, rub some dirt on it, you're good. And then Adelaide, and again I'm speaking in stereotypes here, but hadn't been to coddle females because you know, they can't handle it and they need support. That absolutely has a major impact on development and subsequent interactions.

Speaker 2:9:46There was a, yesterday I did an interview with a young woman who was sharing her story. You know what, I broken mom, talked to amazing experts like you and then I weave into it real life stories of, you know, the rest of us, you know, the humans that are just out here surviving in this. One woman was brought up with a extremely narcissistic mother and her, her fiance right now is bipolar and she started to uncover her own like, wow, I'm not, I'm not okay. You know, kind of moments by going to therapy with him and going through the family portion of it. And when we touched on, you know, his story a little bit, he grew up in a mixed culture family, a white and Chinese. And the dad's attitude was that there was a very strict role. The of things that men did and what they didn't do. And this young man is a creative artist at heart but was always told you can't be that because you're a man. You can't do it. And also given the whole stop crying, man, you know, I'm in that, you know, now he's a 28 year old kid who's just like struggling with all of that stuff. Any idea where this whole, you know, be a man, stop crying bs, you know, originated from.

Speaker 3:10:58Yeah. I think it really comes down to what we're talking about before where men were the protectors, the hunters and gatherers and things like that and of course along with that comes that need to be macho to be fiercely independent and I think men are really striving to be independent and prove to the world that they don't need support. I don't need help. I don't need to talk about my feelings. I can run through a wall for myself and protect my family. But that really just trickled down and I believe it's in Malcolm Gladwell's book called Blink. He's talking about the importance of culture and he's talking about in civil war times. There was actually a mom who lost several children's and one child was dying in her arms and the child was crying and my child and an adult child, I don't know exactly how long, mid twenties. And he was crying and she looked him in the eye and said, I like your brother did with courage and demanded that he stopped crying. That you know, unfortunately, whether we like it or not, and those are remanence let's look at our media. How does the media portray males and females and athletics and things like that? Male athletes don't cry unless it's about their sport. They don't show vulnerability and things like that. So it's really pervasive in all aspects of our culture.

Speaker 2:12:18You told me that story. Now my heart is breaking for that poor kid, that that's what he was dealing with, you know, in his last moments of life. And then the other, the negative aspect of it is, is that showing feelings is, is, is a weakness, you know, it's feminine and not also, you know, persists out there, you know as well. But we know that men are struggling with their emotions, you know, and so, and that's where, you know, this website, you know, I imagine that's where you guys came about this. So I'm man therapy. The website itself, you know, first of all, you have a place on here where a guy can safely explore the website and learn stuff in private without being ridiculed. And so what kind of topics will will a guy find on man therapy.org that he can he can dig into.

Speaker 3:13:00So then therapy, I think as we alluded to originally started out as sort of strictly or narrowly if you will, as suicide prevention initiative. So how do we get, again, get men talking about mental health before that crisis occurs, but pretty quickly we realized that all those precursors to suicide are not just dealing with behavioral health issues like addiction things it depression, trauma, grief, relationships, and then if we really want to go upstream, sometimes it can be needed for the job or other big life transition. So the website really went from a narrow focus of suicide prevention to being much bigger about just being mentally well and staying on top of building coping mechanisms and tools and building relationships so that ideally when life throws curve balls because they're absolutely going to come. Whether we like it or not, we either men can have access to those resources in their back pocket where they know exactly where to turn by. Going onto med therapy to work and being able to connect with those resources.

Speaker 2:13:59Yeah, and that's amazing because one of the things that just came out with the, um, uh, one of the online suicide resources was that reaching men at risk is a huge deal because most of the guys don't have a diagnosed mental health condition. I mean, a lot of people equate somebody who takes their life as suffering from some form of defect or mental illness, but that's not what appears to be, you know, when then the results that, you know, there wasn't any diagnosable, you know, defect in the brain or anything like that.

Speaker 3:14:32Right? Yeah. Just to tease that apart a little bit, there are of course, incidences of suicide where mental health is a part of the equation. There's any instances that aren't, and I can also say that unfortunately mental health diagnoses with men are in my opinion, because again, these men aren't reaching out for support, so they're not connecting and not that diagnosis. It's a really hard thing to quantify and when I think of men, especially men who are dying by suicide, they're really a double jeopardy because it meant working age. Men are at higher risk for suicide. The end, they're the least likely to reach out for support. So it can be such a vulnerable demographics.

Speaker 2:15:11In my own family, we've got an incident of suicide, a great uncle of mine took his life at the age of 65 and, you know, and he was a man I never even met. And so I, you know, I'm always searching back through and thinking, well, that's unusual that I never met the man like ever in my life. He was, my grandfather's brother, knew about him and that never had a chance to. He just disconnected with family and went off, you know, all on his own and then ultimately took his own life by gun in his garage when I was a sophomore in high school. And so that's always been one of those thoughts for me. Um,

Speaker 3:15:46just to add to that, really tragically, suicide is preventable causes of death. It's actually on the rise in overdoses that we're seeing with the opioid crisis, so it's really one of those things that says, you know, we can do something about this. We just need to do so and allocate our resources accordingly.

Speaker 2:16:04Yeah, and I agree with that 100 percent and yet we also have. There's one of my stories that I share on the podcast is a woman whose dad disappeared out of our community back in December and she came on and we talked about his disappearance and I helped with the search. I helped support the family, but it was hard to get media to to say, Hey, we've got an at risk adult out there and we're all trying to look for him because the media has got the don't cover suicide and you know, I know that they've said, well, we don't want copycats and we don't, you know, there's a risk of that happening, but there seems to be that fine line with, okay, so you don't announce the reality of what's going on. But yet it's out there. We still see it in movies and other works of fiction. So it's not like there's a complete shutdown of it that we're really working to prevent it, but you know, we're, we're conflicted with this whole, how do we talk about the topic so that people realize just how pervasive it is and that it is a preventable, you know, in, in many cases of preventable condition. Do you have suggestions on your end? I mean like what you guys are doing?

Speaker 3:17:06Yeah. There are actually safe reporting guidelines for media around suicide. There's a lot of do's and don'ts just like anything else we do in life and there are ways to report on suicide that we know will exacerbate suicide and we know that talking about suicide, it's actually one of the best things you can do for someone who is having suicidal ideation because it can be a huge relief to be able to share that with someone. So not talking about it is further exacerbating the issue. And I've done a lot of work with different universities and organizations and when you don't talk about it, it just further stigmatizes the topic. So there's a lot of benefits bringing that to the surface and talking about it as it is, but doing so with safe messaging.

Speaker 2:17:53Well, and so, um, because there's, you know, there's two paths that I see. One is when you talk about it openly as a, as a culture and society, you understand the magnitude of it and you start to respect the numbers of people that are dying and that it's double what the homicide rate is everywhere. And then what you're saying is the talking about it is as a release and a safety for people contemplating, is that right?

Speaker 3:18:18Absolutely. So on all the websites that we make, we made sure that suicidal ideation is prominent in the site. It's right next to anxiety, depression, substance use because we want people to know that, you know what, you're not the only one that's experiencing this. And just because I have the statistic off the top of my head, we do a lot of work with college populations and we actually know that college students experiencing suicidal ideation throughout their time on campus. So knowing that they can have a website that has a button that says suicidal ideation or alone you can do something about this is so much better than that student and feeling like I'm the only one who has this and I can't talk about it. I don't know where to get help. And obviously that can lead to a really negative and tragic, tragic downward spiral.

Speaker 2:19:00Yeah. Yeah. One of the things on one of my other episodes, I talked with a couple of young men whose mom committed suicide when they were teenagers and we had discussed this idea of the fatigue that happens sometimes with family members when they're dealing with somebody who is. And she had some real mental health issues, you know, she'd been taking medication. She'd been in and out of um, you know, even inpatient hospitalization. I mean, she was struggling and um, but, you know, there's, that people get worn down, you know, the ones that are around that. And we, we detected that through the conversation that, that happens. You know, what's some advice for somebody who's, who seems to be in the presence of a family member or friend that's constantly, you know, swimming in that negative space of suicidal thoughts, um, so that they don't give up on them or because they're just tired of hearing about it. I mean, I hate to say it that way, but that's kind of the, you know, they're just, they're fatigued for dealing with it themselves.

Speaker 3:19:58Two ways to answer that question, very much related. So the first thing is the concept of suicide as a choice. In my professional opinion, I don't think suicide is a choice and I think having that opinion is actually very much detrimental and I think suicide is inevitable suffering or what is perceived as inevitable suffering. So adopting that mindset of this is the person that's really struggling with some very intense pain can be very helpful. The second piece, taking it over to a medical analogy, all medical health conditions are challenging. Um, coping with someone who's going through cancer treatment for example. That's something that on one hand can be very tiring because it's hard. Then that person feels like crap a lot of the time. There's a lot of appointments and you might get tired, quote unquote a feeling like that people don't give up on someone who's going through cancer and if we can shift that mindset over to mental health and depression, I think we'd actually have a much more compassionate view and be willing to step into that person's shoes and understanding to a better degree. You know what's so painful that you're actually considering taking your own life?

Speaker 2:21:07Yeah. Yeah. The other thing too that you hear you, you talked about like it being a choice is and I, I mean I just, I stopped my hand short of slapping somebody when I hear this because violence is bad, but when somebody talks about suicide as a selfish act and the, you know, the remedy in their opinion is to convince this person, you know, what it would do to everyone else around them. And I think to myself, that person actually doesn't give a shit about you. They're tired of giving a shit about what you need and don't feel like anybody gives a shit about what they need. Um, you know, and do you, what do you say to somebody you know when you're trying to be well meaning and they're telling you, I'm thinking about dying because everybody's like, don't do it. We'll all miss you. Um, is there a better, better answer to that?

Speaker 3:21:50Well, there's, there's a lot of better ways to better broach that topic. So well done. And first off, I just want to put a plug out there for this. A number of suicide safe training programs out there. So living works as suicide prevention trainings that have hour long workshops, you know, just like you take first aid, you should take one of these courses. And what it is is one, being able to identify warning signs so people, no, maybe not wanting to live or things like that. It can be really passive, it can be really in your face, but being able to take that as an invitation and just ask, you know, are you thinking about suicide? How can I support you? And then of course, really exploring and understanding where that person's coming from and the most important thing is keeping them safe in the presence and then connecting that person to appropriate care. If I had a broken leg and I was on the side of the street, I would hope that someone would call the ambulance or get me to the care I need. And I think that's our role as citizens when it comes to mental health and suicide prevention.

Speaker 2:22:51Yeah. And to err on the side of caution, you know, assume the worst we don't want to. But I think it's for saving lives, you kind of have to overreact, you know?

Speaker 3:23:02Yeah, absolutely. I think a lot of people fear of saying the wrong thing or if I say something wrong, it's actually going to make this person more likely to die by suicide. And that's unfortunately our science or not. Unfortunately. Fortunately our science does not support that whatsoever. And I think a great example, if you don't mind me using as an example, but what's something that's really important to you in your life? Most important thing you can take of,

Speaker 2:23:23uh, would be my two kids like.

Speaker 3:23:27So how would you feel about keeping your two kids?

Speaker 2:23:29Say That again?

Speaker 3:23:31Do you feel about just giving me your two kids? Just shipping them over to me and I can take them.

Speaker 2:23:35No, that's not an option. I've already had those choices. Nope. Not doing it. Did

Speaker 3:23:40I plant the seed that you're going to give me your kids overnight and that's, that's the same thing as suicide. We're not planting that idea that Oh, right, that's a great idea. So that's the mind shift that we can take and it's okay to talk about it. It can be a real release to talk about it. And if the answer's yes, you know what? There's websites like man therapy.org. There's local hospitals, there's American Foundation for suicide prevention. There's places to go.

Speaker 2:24:05Yeah. Now I have heard though that when it comes to kids, teenagers in particular, seeds can be planted. Is that, is that true? Because we've dealt with this in our own household. Unfortunately, my two kids each a friend successfully, and I think that's a terrible word to describe it, but actually killed themselves and another young lady try and you know, we even in the schools were like, well, once one person does it, it's almost like the movie heathers. Do you remember that back in the, in the eighties with Winona Ryder where it was like a contagion, you know, the suicide contagion thing is there. Is that, do you feel or see that, that there's some truth in that, that there is a demographic though where you do kind of need to worry about planting seeds.

Speaker 3:24:48So going back to culture, there's a cultural component here. Excuse me, I come from a background where suicide has happened, quote unquote acceptable way to go or am suffering. Yes. That might increase my likelihood of suicide and of course teens, young adults and things like that tend to be a little bit more impressionable and when they can see, you know, wow, this person is getting all this attention. I think it's 13 reasons why that there's a lot of controversy around because in my opinion, they didn't do that. They didn't tell that story in a safe way, making sure whenever we're talking about suicide that we always have suicide prevention resources linked or mentioned like suicide prevention, lifeline and things like that is vital. And going back to the media reporting again, we have guidelines out there if you literally just type in guidelines for safety reporting on suicide, those exists. There's do's and don'ts that are pretty cut and dry and if we as a culture are more willing to adopt those or take the time to utilize those, we can talk about suicide in a safe way to raise awareness while also minimizing the likelihood of um, I don't like using the word copycats but for the simplicity of the conversation, copycat acts,

Speaker 2:26:02Seattle area and we have one of the highest suicide rates in the country. Some people you know, related possibly to the weather, you know, with having it be rainy and crappy for several months out of the year. It's not the case right now but, but yeah, we, we all know about it up here, but yet we don't talk about it and it's definitely never mentioned. Which is why when my, you know, my friend's dad disappeared, she couldn't get any media outlets to even put the flyer there. Like if there's a suspicion that he went and killed himself, then we're not, we're not covering it, you know, and it was, and it was frustrating because we didn't know if he had and maybe he was out there last or whatever. Um, I'm gonna look that up to safe reporting guidelines because if there's something out there then that, that feels like something that people should know about and starting to understand now on them

Speaker 3:26:51when it comes to, you know, actual numbers. When we conceptualize suicide in actual lives. Last, we have about the equivalent of a 7:37 plane. Have people dying by suicide in this country every day. In my opinion, if there was a plane crashing every day, our culture, which has helped figure that out. You know, there's this idea of choice in this behavioral health and we can't do anything about it. It comes down to, you know, people not willing to pick up that story.

Speaker 2:27:20Yeah. Yeah. Or again, going back to they think that there's just a brain defect and it was a mental illness case and not. Yeah, that's a great. That's a great perspective there. It was totally worth you talking over me on that one. So thank you. Dot Org. There's a section that you have called the head inspection and it looks like it's a self assessment and so I want you to talk about that and I, I want you to let me know, can I take this for a man that I'm concerned about? Like does it work if I, if I fill it out for him?

Speaker 3:27:51Yeah. So I'll start with just explaining what the stuff. I want to toot our own horn. We're really proud of this. So we've had over 300,000 men to take this depression screening, depression screening of depression, but also touches on another, a number of other areas of behavioral health. And why I'm so proud of this is how many people in their spare time or going online and taking what we knew we had something that's fun and engaging and most importantly asking the questions you know, are you feeling good, are depressed four out of five days, that's not going to get men talking. And a lot of times these assessments that we developed, you know, you're giving it, let's say at your doctor's office. And I know if I fill up questions in a certain way, I'm going to have a really challenging conversation with my doctor in five minutes.

Speaker 3:28:43So a lot of lives. Why unfortunately confidential, anonymous meeting men on their terms and I highly respect resection. And watching the video that sets it up because Dr Richard was very funny way, you know, taking the join this, join this assessment and I'm going to use my handy dandy man calculator. And he pulls out a calculator and pushes all the buttons and says, I'll give you a result. Then he also says at the end he gets back up and he says, and you know, I don't bullshit me. I hate bullshit. And then he listened to the other, so again, it's meeting men on their terms and helping them open up to say, you know what, I should take this seriously. And as soon as I met men then finishes this or woman or whoever takes the assessment, they're presented different videos that say, you know, you're doing great, you're like a fine Italian sports car. And then all the way on the other end of the spectrum too, you know what Dr Rich actually breaks character and says, you know, if a fake doctor's concerned about you, I really recommend that you reach out for support by clicking on the red phone behind me. Equally important and powerful. And we've had some amazing feedback from users saying, you know, things like literally your website saved.

Speaker 3:29:57So that's really the power of an inspection. Then from there you get customized results around all those areas from suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, substance use, sleep, and with one click a user can actually connect with resources to start working on that challenge. It's really cool. And then the second piece that you asked the survey is designed as a self assessment. Does that mean you can't fill it out for someone else? No, but is it, you know, exactly align to say he is my husband and son or coworker depressed. It's not exactly designed for that, but could it give you some good hunches and help you figure out some language and resources that you could recommend to that person? Absolutely.

Speaker 2:30:38Yeah. So, and you know, when we talked on our phone in our first conversation, you know, one of your things that you said that man therapy was about was prevention and early intervention that that's important to saving lives, but how do you get a man to see what you see on the outside, which is that you know, that, you know, he's not sleeping enough, that he's actually, he's lying on his self assessment, his head inspection. He said he never gets mad, but you see him worrying, you know, every single day. How do you get them to get to help if they don't think they need it? I mean, is there anything you can do in that situation?

Speaker 3:31:12Yeah. This is actually one of the things that I'm most proud of and that therapy dot or couldn't have ever been made by psychologists or behavioral health providers. We're just not that cool, but when we all of a sudden bring marketing and communications and branding and copywriters and experts in technology, we in a very approachable way that can resonate on an individual level. So this is really where the stages of change. Are you familiar with the stages of change?

Speaker 2:31:45No, no,

Speaker 3:31:49I'm sorry. I spoke over. You

Speaker 3:31:53change stages of change or the idea that people move through a continuum or steps if you will, of making change in their lives all the way from preconference meeting. I don't know. This is an issue all the way to taking action and let's say on someone who has been drinking too much for some time, maybe that person will respond really well to a friend or a website saying, hey, go see a therapist, but on the other end of the side, let's say I'm in that free. Contemplate upstage. If you say go see a therapist, that person might say, fuck you. I'm good and that's not what we're looking for. So this site has a number of resources that meet people on their terms. So let's take example number one, if I want to find a therapist, a therapist on man therapy.org that I can connect with a local therapist finder, but on the other side, let's say a man says, you know, substance use might be an issue for you. Take some of these and check out some of these further resources and then that man learns a little bit more about addictions and how that can be harmful and that slowly says how I'm raising my self awareness that maybe this is an issue and then can slowly guide them towards the steps that they should be taking to take action.

Speaker 2:33:07That was one of the things I wanted to know is you get a guy that goes through all of this and he gets to a place where he's like, I would like to see a therapist. You guys have some listed on there. Are they, are they prescreened? Do they cover the entire United States?

Speaker 3:33:22Yeah, so we actually use a partner. It's a third party therapist provider that's located on the side, it's called pro. We've worked with them. We've sort of therapy, branded resource like that. Um, so there are third party, but once you jump into there you can get to just about any zip code. I can't speak for them, but they have a great therapist database.

Speaker 2:33:43Okay.

Speaker 3:33:44The only other thing I want to add about men reaching out, the CDC actually did a four year, one point $2,000,000 study on that therapy data work and what their testing is, is a man more likely to reach out for support going through man therapy and taking the assessment there versus just taking a standard behavioral health screening tool. And we're in year four of four right now. So the results aren't out yet, but I can say things are looking very promising.

Speaker 2:34:11Wow. Congratulations. That's amazing. I mean, that's awesome. I can't wait to hear how that shakes out there. Um, because again, you know what I got from it when I landed on it. I know it wasn't, I'm not the target demographic that I hit you up and I was like, from a branding perspective, this is spot on. You know, I get this whole thing and the fact that it was. It's disarming and and making a lot of things that people think about mental health is that it's sterile and it's maybe a concept that not many people can get their brains around, but it's so well done on man therapy that it's accessible and it's funny, but yet at the same time it's not minimizing, you know, mental health in any way, shape or form and

Speaker 3:34:53going back to our roots. I think that's something that we're most proud of as this was a collaboration between the office of Suicide Prevention, a full service marketing and branding agency, cactus communications and the suicide prevention nonprofit and I'd argue that have been made without those three legs because of course having researchers and psychologists present, but also someone who understands systems of care and public health and suicide prevention, suicide prevention. So that's where the rubber meets the road. When it comes to mental health. We really need to be collaborating with other disciplines because it only makes everyone stronger. Therapy.org has a huge impact on not just in the states but also worldwide. We have visitors from, uh, I believe it's over 50 countries to date and all 50 states and with that as a passion project and very much adopting a nonprofit model, we're always looking for partners and ways to expand the initiative.

Speaker 3:35:46We'd love some day to be able to have a woman therapy.org as well as build new content for other verticals. For example, we made content for first responders and military veterans because we know those demographics are at higher risk of suicide. So we're constantly working to find partners who are interested in working on the space. For example, the construction industry is another that we'd love to be able to build with. So always something we're looking for, partnerships and things like that. You happened to be interested in men's mental health and suicide prevention. Don't hesitate to reach out.

Speaker 2:36:17Yeah, and I, you know, doing a podcast, what I have found out there, you know, I spoke with a woman who's the president of the, uh, postpartum support international and you know, mental health professionals actually know all the good stuff. It's the how to get it out to the public at large and do it in a way that's digestible and tangible, you know, to those things. And that, that was my motivation with my podcast was let's talk about it in a way where we're able to get really good information to do it and have it feel like it's a conversation, you know, you and I are sitting on a couch with a beer and you know, in our hands and talking about this kind of stuff and the mental health profession is rife for ways of getting that information out is I've been so happy and awesome and stoked about how wonderful people have been wanting to share all this with this information with other people.

Speaker 3:37:08Yeah, it's great. And it feels like the tides are changing. I saw a great mental health presentation about just that and I did a sort of results her review of all old mental health messaging and they said, you know what, we're sick of pictures of people with head in hands and head on the floor and standing in the rain like that doesn't some of mental health we can do much better than that.

Speaker 2:37:28Right, right. Absolutely. So what's next then for grit, digital health and man therapy.org.

Speaker 3:37:34So grip digital health has a number of things going on. So obviously man therapy is one of our major initiatives, but we also made a college platform. So after we launched them, therapy dot Oregon State University reached out to us and said we have a lot of challenges when it comes to suicide and behavioral health on campus. You did man therapy, you think we can put our heads together and make something else. So we brought me therapy up to campus. We put it in front of students and they said, we like it, we get it. It's funny, but this is for my white dad. So we said, well, let's start from scratch and build something new, so we transfer therapy for the college population. That initiatives has been incredibly successful. We're coming up on 20 campuses across the nation now and we're really looking to scale. We're excited about that.

Speaker 3:38:18And then we're also looking into other verticals, if you will. So looking at corporate wellness space in there, we're actually working with a partner to develop that first initiative and then just being at this intersection of behavioral health and Technology of course it's very much an emerging field and we've at it for a while. So we're working with a number of just great partners from the behavioral health world and we can turn a lot of traditionally pdf for just like Kinda gross behavioral health documents that we have really great elegant websites that can actually reach the public in a scalable way.

Speaker 2:38:53Yeah. Have you guys ever explored. I mean, I'm being a little selfish, you're asking this question, but you know, my kids aren't in college yet and so is there anything, any discussions about reaching, you know, 13 year olds or 15 year olds are kids because they're, they're tapped into technology. I mean, my daughter's trying to teach me how to snapchat and I'm like, I'm failing at this, but it's a great platform to get to reach my daughter. You do it through snapchat and um, so I'm just curious whether or not you guys are exploring even younger populations.

Speaker 3:39:26We've had a lot of inquiries around that and it's absolutely something we're exploring. There's always a balance between doing things really well and right and spreading too thin. So we're very excited about that possibility. It's definitely high on our roadmap. We've had a number of states as well as the school district's contact us, but we just have to figure out the right time. And of course, working with younger populations, you're working with individuals under 18, which comes a number of other issues that you have to work with if you're actually providing some sort of services. So all things that we're very excited to tackle, we just have.

Speaker 2:39:59Yup. One of the things that came across my newsfeed today was through the suicide prevention resource center was that Colorado is leading the country in suicide prevention work. And I got to feel like you guys are a part of that. Is that right?

Speaker 3:40:13I would hope so. Absolutely. Um, Colorado has really become a hub for health tech innovations. I believe I read recently that were actually number four and Denver has really just been exploding. The economy's doing well, we're getting a lot of new talent and going back to where we started today, we know suicide and behavioral health really has been a challenge for the state. So I give props to the state for really putting resources and making that a priority. I still think we have a long way to go, but it's really great to be making strides on that front.

Speaker 2:40:41Yeah, that's awesome. Well, this has been amazing and again, I'm always so grateful when people will do the show with me. And your guys' program is just incredible. Um, do you guys have any other resources besides man therapy.org, like a facebook page, a youtube channel you working other people find you?

Speaker 3:40:58Yeah, we have all that, but I'd recommend is going to grip digital health.com. That's where you can see all our initiatives were consistently updating things there that can also take you to us at college dot Com if you're interested in checking that out. And then the marketing. So grip digital health is a spin off of cactus communications organization that made them therapy.org and that organizations have a lot of amazing work in the behavioral health, including Brittany and outside of Grit. So that website is [inaudible] dot com if you're interested in that intersection of behavioral health and Marketing Communications, a website worth checking out as well.

Speaker 2:41:35Cool. Cool. Well thank you very much. Um, I know that you've got a lot going on and um, and again, I'm so, I'm so happy that you were able to take the time to talk with me here on one broken mom. And um, I hope you have an amazing, amazing day.

Speaker 3:41:50Well, thank you and thank you for doing what you're doing, people like yourselves and getting the word out, talking about these issues in a real tone and being a real person. That's what the world needs, so thank you for your part.

Speaker 1:42:08Thank you for listening to one broken mom. You can find podcast notes on my website, [inaudible] dot com, and they're all provide all links to all of the resources that we mentioned on the episode. Also, if you have any questions, comments, or ideas for other episodes, feel free to send me an email and if you were interested in sponsoring the show, I'd love to have you be a part of the team. Finally, if you like what you hear, please share the podcast and leave a review so that others can find it. You're all here to get better together. I am the host and proponent and is always super grateful to have you as a listener.

Speaker 2:42:40Well, next time, have a great day.

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