Men open up online about coping with depression
TALKING FREELY: Advice, personal accounts at HeadsUpGuys site inspire honesty
The strong and silent type might be hiding a lot of angst. That’s the underlying message of the University of B.C.-based website called HeadsUpGuys that is telling the stories of men with depression.
During October, the two-yearold website is posting 20 personal accounts of men who have had depression and found ways to cope. Project co-ordinator Joshua Beharry says there are few sources of information on depression designed specifically for men, so HeadsUpGuys has gained readers from around the world.
“It’s more of an action-based approach,” says Beharry. “We try to give more practical, concrete advice.”
Joel Robison, a B.C.-based conceptual photographer, is one of the men who contributed his experience.
“I think my major turning point was being honest both with myself and with my family and friends,” he writes. “For a long time I’d been pushing things away, hiding my emotions, and pretending that everything was OK.
“I wrote an honest blog post just telling people where I was with my mental health, and that was really the turning point.”
His advice? Reach out to others, get outside in nature and resist the urge to do nothing.
HeadsUpGuys also includes tips from experts on everything from stress management to maintaining relationships. Its initial funding from the Movember Foundation will run out next year and this month’s personal profile series is part of fundraising efforts to continue its work. For more information go to: headsupguys.org
Looking at ADHD from the inside
Everyday ADDvice is an online magazine launched this month by Vancouver’s Karen Ryan to help Canadian families seeking ways to cope with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Ryan came to the topic after her son was diagnosed with ADHD 11 years ago and had a strong adverse reaction to medication he was prescribed. She quit her job as a nutrition manager at a local health authority to help him, coming up with a plan heavy on daily activity and a diet of healthy, unprocessed foods free of dyes and added sugar.
The first issue looks at ways to encourage a good night’s rest because stimulant medications for ADHD may affect sleep and many kids with ADHD also have a second condition like restless leg syndrome.
The issue includes first-person accounts of living with ADHD and techniques the authors developed for successful learning.
The board of advisers for Everyday ADDvice leans heavily on naturopathic practitioners so parents looking for information based on scientific research will want to check out the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre located at B.C. Children’s Hospital or at keltymentalhealth.ca.
Ryan got a grant from the federal government to start the magazine and hopes to make it into a profit-making venture based on advertising and subscriptions which are $5.99 per issue or $34.99 per year.
For more information go to: everydayaddvice.com
Joshua R. Beharry is project co-ordinator for HeadsUpGuys, a University of British Columbia-based website focusing on men’s depression and how they can cope with it.
Vancouver-based Karen Ryan is editor of the ADHD online magazine Everyday ADDvice.
Joel Robison, a conceptual photographer, shared his story on the HeadsUpGuys site.