New course, app designed for men to support each other

Men supporting men

A new mental health course specifically for men has been released; designed to engage and support them.

Through a partnership between HeChangedIt and Discovery College, a Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna initiative, they’ve created a free ‘go at your own pace’ style course that allows male participants to open up about their mental health, without any stigma attached.

The course is the first collaboration between HeChangedIt, a mobile platform designed for men, and Discovery College. Through working with a dozen men to design the course, they were able to find out what men need in terms of support.

“When we were working to develop this course we knew we had to do the research to really find out what was important to men when it comes to opening up about what’s going on in their lives,” said Discovery College Lead Beki Hardcastle. “So we took the time to bring a group of men from our community together and talked to them about what they found to be helpful, and in turn, incorporated that into our course.”

Some of the men who participated in the study opened up about their personal stories on the course videos as a way to further break down the feelings of seclusion that some men struggle with when it comes to talking about their mental health.

The course pinpoints topics such as developing better communication skills and relationship building. Hardcastle says the course also encourages men to practice the skills they have learned and to talk online to other men who are completing the course.

“It’s not just about learning new tools, it’s also about building a community and knowing you’re not on your own finding it hard to talk about things.”

HeChangedIt cofounder Candace Chisholm says being able to provide help for men is a rewarding feeling.

“We are so grateful for the work that Discovery College and CMHA Kelowna do on a daily basis,” says Chisholm. “It has been extremely rewarding to work with this organization and to help provide another way to share help and support with as many men as possible.”

The ‘It's Tough To Talk’ course is available to all men over the age of 17 via app stores.

Approximately one million Canadian men suffer from major depression each year, so Hardcastle says her hope is through this course, they’ve created a safe place where men can be honest about how they feel.

“At the end of the day, it’s tough to talk - and it can be even more so for men. So we want to provide a platform, some skills, and knowledge that help men share what they are going through and a way to manage through it.”

Of the approximately 4,000 Canadians who are lost to suicide annually, 75 per cent are men.

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