LANSING – Gov. Snyder has declared June 25 as Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Michigan. In partnership with the Healthy Men Michigan campaign, the governor aims to raise awareness and opportunities to improve the quality of life for men or their loved ones struggling with problems related to mental health and mental illness.
In 2016, there were 44,965 suicides according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide rates are increasing nationwide, especially in rural areas, according to a report by the Washington Post. In Michigan, where taking one’s own life is the 10th leading cause of death, the top 10 counties with the highest rates of suicide deaths are Alcona, Ontonagon, Oscoda, Lake, Iron, Schoolcraft, Mackinac, Gogebic, Roscommon and Iosco.
Healthy Men Michigan is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and offers services including awareness, detection and treatment for suicide by providing free and anonymous online screening and mental health resources to men at HealthyMenMichigan.org.
Jodi Frey, principal investigator for the Healthy Men Michigan campaign, said in a press release that the ability to access the tools quickly and anonymously removes potential barriers to getting help.
The organization states that more than 4,800 individuals have taken the online screening at HealthyMenMichigan.org.
Frey reported that “more than 60 percent of those screened and in our target demographic — men between the ages of 25-64 living in Michigan — scored at risk for either suicide or depression. Many of those screened are not connected to any mental health services.”
To celebrate Men’s Mental Health Awareness Day, Healthy Men Michigan urged organizations, coalitions, support groups and businesses throughout Michigan to encourage men to seek information and treatment.
Promotional partners can also access free promotional materials such as social media posts, flyers, posters and wallet cards by visiting the Healthy Men Michigan Downloadable Resource Center.
“Awareness Day is a time for us to join together with workplaces and community organizations across the state to get the message out to working-aged men that they are not alone and that help is available,” said Lisa Desai, director of mental health screening and research at Screening for Mental Health and Healthy Men Michigan campaign manager.