Heroes In Mental Health: From Movember’s Mitch Hermansen

It’s ok to realize that you need help, but you’re not ready to talk about it yet. If you need a little encouragement before reaching out to a friend or loved one, there are a ton of resources and role models out there who are willing to lend an ear and share their own experiences. Movember’s Director of Development Mitch Hermansen was kind enough to share his personal heroes in the male mental health sphere, from podcasts and videos to documentaries and researchers in the field.

If you’re struggling but not ready to speak, here’s where you can educate yourself and feel a community of support and positive energy. The power is in speaking out and sharing your story. As Mitch puts it, “No matter who you are, where you live or what your story is. We all struggle. There is nothing to be ashamed of. We’re in this together. And every time someone shows some vulnerability and shares their story, I think slowly people begin to realize that to be true.”

These resources, talks, and people will help you realize that.

SickBoy Podcast 

Three friends destigmatizing talking about illness. One of the friends has cystic fibrosis and that is how the podcast began. Jeremie will likely die by the age of 40 CF. A few weeks ago, the SickBoy podcast was the #1 downloaded podcast on iTunes. This followed their documentary that was released on CBC across the country. This podcast has become so popular is because (1) the three guys are hilarious, and (2) they are helping destigmatizing conversations around illnesses, both mental and physical. The three friends are from Halifax.

Don McCreary 

Don McCreary is the owner of DRM Scientific Consulting, a Toronto-based international consultancy focusing on both men’s health and workplace stress and resilience. In addition, Don is an active men’s health researcher and advocate, promoting both greater awareness of men’s health issues at all levels, as well as the need for developing and implementing evidence-based interventions to address men’s physical and mental health requirements. Don volunteers with the Movember Foundation, chairing their Global Men’s Health Advisory Committee.”

 John Oliffe 

Dr. John Oliffe is a Professor at the School of Nursing at the University of British Columbia. Founder and lead investigator of UBC’s Men’s Health Research program (www.menshealthresearch.ubc.ca ). His work focuses on masculinity as it influences men’s health behaviors and illness management, and its impact on partners, families and overall life quality. Findings drawn from his research offer guidance to clinicians and researchers to advance men’s health promotion in the areas of psychosocial prostate cancer care, smoking cessation and male suicide prevention. An ex-pat Australian, Dr. Oliffe has attracted more than $22 million in research funding and published 195 peer-reviewed articles since being recruited to UBC in 2003.  

Videos You Need To Watch

Bressie Talks About Depression: Lovin Dublin Live
This speech is a real life story of depression that voices what a lot of people are feeling, in a way that rings authentic and won’t let you feel alone.

The Mask You Live In

The tagline of this movie reads: “what does it mean to be a man, in this world?” This is a documentary about masculinity and the toxic stigma that society has created around it. Available on Netflix. (trailer here)

LockerRoomDoctor – Thomas Ungar Video

A great, cheeky hockey video that helps destigmatize mental health and illness.

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