Movember Canada funds UBC research on men’s depression and suicide
Blog Author: Tara LyonPosted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 15:16
Movember fundraising efforts are in full swing, and participants have two more weeks to donate to the Mo Bro with the moustache they deem to be the most impressive and deserving.
Movember was created with the goal of raising awareness of men’s health issues, but that doesn’t just mean cancer. Men’s mental health is an area that also benefits from Movember funding, specifically the Men’s Depression and Suicide Network (MD&S NET) here in BC. UBC professor John Oliffe received $2 950 000 last month in Movember funding to support the five projects he leads at UBC researching men’s depression and suicide, an often overlooked area of mental health support. Because traditional depression screening tools tend not to capture the nature of men’s depression (men often present with symptoms like anger, irritability, or substance use), men are diagnosed with depression at about half the rate of women--yet four out of five suicides are committed by men.
The first MD&S NET project aims to develop a “help” component for the Men’s Depression-Help Yourself website.
The second project will extend the DUDES club (Downtown Urban Knights Defending Equality and Solidarity) program, which supports First Nations men who are at high risk for depression or suicide. The program is currently only available in Vancouver.
The third project receiving funding supports older men at risk of depression or suicide, by extending a program called Men’s Sheds. The program provides support in a masculine environment where men experiencing illness or challenges can participate in activities such as woodworking and repairs.
Funding for the fourth project will support a transition program for men experiencing prostate cancer, the most common cancer in Canadian men and the second largest cause of male cancer deaths in Canada.
The fifth project is called Man up Against Suicide. This initiative raises awareness about men’s suicide by asking people who have lost a man in their lives to suicide and men who have experienced suicidal thoughts to provide photos and captions relating to their experiences. These will then be exhibited across Canada (and online) as a means to de-stigmatize men’s mental illness.
To listen to podcasts by John Oliffe, visit the Men’s Depression-Help Yourself website, and to read the abstract of Mr Oliffe’s article entitled “You feel like you can’t live anymore”: Suicide from the perspectives of Canadian men who experience depression, click here.
To make a Movember donation, visit http://ca.movember.com.