WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Screening for Mental Health, Inc., the pioneer in large-scale screenings for the public, today announced the launch of MassMen.org, a comprehensive website that provides men and their loved ones with vital mental health information, anonymous screenings for common mental health disorders and suicide, state and local resources for more information and help.
The website is part of a statewide campaign that is using a novel approach to communications with men about their health and well-being in response to increasing suicide rates among working age men.
During the 15-year period that ended in 2013, men 25 to 64 years old comprised 26 percent of the state's population -- but suffered 57 percent of the suicides in Massachusetts, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. And data show that the rate and number of suicides for working-age men has been increasing since 2007.
In addition to providing mental health information, screenings and resources, MassMen.org also provides a gateway to ManTherapy.org, a website designed to encourage men to take care of themselves and to seek help before mental or emotional issues develop into a crisis.
"Suicide among working-age men in Massachusetts is a much more serious problem than most people realize," says Franklin Cook of Unified Community Solutions in Watertown, who manages the statewide initiative in partnership with Screening for Mental Health in Wellesley. "The Man Therapy campaign doesn't just make people aware of the problem: It helps men who might be at risk of suicide work on solutions."
Man Therapy features "Dr." Rich Mahogany, an actor playing the role of a real therapist, who uses a down-to-earth mix of humor and candor to help men feel at home. Dr. Mahogany comes off as a "regular guy" and gives men opportunities to take a hard look at problems such as depression and anxiety, substance abuse, anger and stress, and relationship issues.
- The "18-Point Head Inspection," a free, private self-screening, which takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to finding out what is troubling men
- "Gentlemental Health," which conveys helpful information in jargon-free, man-friendly language
- "One-on-None Therapy," an A-to-Z collection of self-help suggestions chosen with men's needs in mind
- "Pro Therapy," a robust search tool that helps men find nearby professional assistance based on the criteria they choose
The messages throughout the website are based on communications practices that have proven to be effective with men.
"Understanding that women are traditionally strong influencers around men's help-seeking, we developed MassMen as a companion to the Man Therapy website to appeal to both men and women in Massachusetts," says Candice Porter, executive director of Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
The anonymous, screenings available at MassMen.org address depression, alcohol use, anxiety, and PTSD. In addition, MassMen offers resources developed by the 10 regional suicide prevention coalitions from across the state, ensuring that men can find the help they need as close to them as possible.
"There are 1.7 million men in Massachusetts between the age of 25 and 64, and they are dying by suicide in disproportionate numbers," says Cook. "Every year, between 300 and 350 working-age men die by suicide here, and I believe that Man Therapy and MassMen signal a commitment for us to say to men, before their situations become dire, 'We are reaching out to you.' 'There are resources -- within you and around you -- to help you meet your needs.' 'You are not alone.'"
ManTherapy.Org and MassMen.Org in Massachusetts are supported by the state Department of Public Health and regional suicide prevention coalitions affiliated with the Massachusetts Coalition for Suicide Prevention (www.masspreventssuicide.org).
The Man Therapy website was initially launched in Colorado in 2012 and is maintained through a partnership between the Denver-based Cactus advertising agency, Colorado Office of Suicide Prevention, and Carson J Spencer Foundation.
Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (mentalhealthscreening.org), Wellesley Hills, Mass., the pioneer in large-scale mental health screening for the public, provides innovative mental health and substance abuse resources, linking those in need with quality treatment options. Screening for Mental Health's programs educate, raise awareness, and screen individuals for common mental and behavioral health disorders -- and suicide.
Unified Community Solutions, Watertown, Mass., specializes in suicide prevention project development, management, and leadership. UCS owner Franklin Cook also is the creator of Personal Grief Coaching (personalgriefcoach.com), a telephone support service for people bereaved by suicide.
 See "Fact Sheet: Suicide in Working-Age Men in Massachusetts": bit.ly/men25-64
 Interviews can be arranged with local, state, and national officials about suicide among men in Massachusetts and the United States.
 See "About the Man Therapy Approach": bit.ly/MTapproach
 See "About Man Therapy Tools and Resources": bit.ly/MTtoolsource
 See "Why Man Therapy Works for Men": bit.ly/MTworkmen
SOURCE Screening for Mental Health