For #MensHealthWeek, This Powerful Photography Campaign Urges Men to Fight Depression
An important but often overlooked part of #MensHealthWeek (June 11-17th, 2018), the week preceding Father’s Day, is men’s mental health.
This year, HeadsUpGuys is trying to change that with a campaign called “Together We Can.”
The campaign features works by concept and fine art photographers from around the world who have submitted images to let guys know they are not alone.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) men account for three times the number of suicides compared to women, with depression being a leading cause. HeadsUpGuys wants men to know that getting help with depression is no different than getting help with any other serious illness or injury, like diabetes or a broken leg.
They want to show men that friends, family members, medical professionals and other guys who have been there are here to support them.
HeadsUpGuys is also running a matching donations campaign until the end of June 2018, as local Vancouver business owners and philanthropists have stepped up to match all donations up to $100,000. Learn more about the donations campaign here.
Here are the images from their campaign:
“A flood of golden light, the sight of a rainbow, hoping with all my heart that the storm is finally breaking” — Adam Williams, australianphotographer.com
“It is my hope that this year I will pour into others as they pour into me. Cheers to the past and everything we’ve overcome; here’s to spreading kindness, art and love!” — Rob Woodcox, robwoodcox.com
“When depression comes creeping, I struggle to keep hope alive. I created this image to remind myself and everyone that despite the darkness, there is always hope. You are never alone.” — Maren Elize Klemp, marenklempart.com
“Through Internet forums, I realized there are a lot of guys out there dealing with the exact same things as me. Seeing their stories, recognizing my own struggles in them and reading about how they got better helped me build the courage to seek out professional help and start my own journey to get better.” — Tommy Ingberg, ingberg.com
“Together we can break stigma and barriers, fighting off all the negative forces that try to grip us. I created this image with Adam Hague, another photographer and supporter of HeadsUpGuys. Adam and I first met online about six or seven years ago and became friends through our photography. It was luck that we were both in the U.K. at the same time in April and we were able to meet up and create some new work together. We spent a lot of time talking about how we manage our anxieties and our mental health and how important art is in balancing both of those for us.” — Joel Robison, joelrobison.com
“We want to do it all, but sometime life pushes you toward multiple directions all at once. It’s frustrating to have to feel like every move we make is followed by an undesirable sacrifice. We ended up getting stuck in the same place, the wrong place. However, we are not alone. Together we can help each other with the experience, the knowledge we gain from every step we take. Eventually, when we look back, we will see a path.” — Jason Chen, thatchinesekid.com
“There’s never one right way to reach out but there’s always options. The important thing is to take that first step.” — Nathan Milner, nathanmilner.net
“I created this image during one of the hardest times of my life. Photography became the reason I got out of my house, to create something and clear my mind. Watching the fog slowly lift up that day was one of the happiest moments of my life.” — Mikael Aldo, mikaelaldo.com
“I know it’s sometimes hard that we lose our way in the darkness. This image is created to remind me and others that there are people who are willing to be there for you, to help out in times of need. They are the ones who would be the support that would bring the light above you especially when it gets dark.” — Mike Alegado, mikealegado.com
“Reaching out can be the hardest thing we can do in our darkest times. We may not think anyone has the exact answer we’re looking for, but once you make that first step, all of a sudden it seems possible there is an answer after all. The moment I made that decision to reach out and allow someone else to see the parts of me I kept hidden, the easier it became for me to find that place of happiness I was always looking for.” — Jonathan Chapé, jonathanchape.com
“He(art) is where the Strength is. This photo is an expression of how we should support each other and find strength in talking to someone about what goes on in your head. The beams blasting out of our eyes symbolizes us using what we’ve seen (experiences) to fight the giant hands (for example, dark forces, happiness thieves, anything that makes us feel small).” — Adam Hague, facebook.com/adamhague
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “HOME” to 741741.
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All images via respective photographers and HeadsUpGuys.com