Breaking the Silence Around Men’s Mental Health
Sigma Chi Fraternity is honoured to be partnering with UBC’s HeadsUpGuys to launch a fundraising initiative in support of its life-saving online resources that provide men with practical information to manage and prevent depression. We believe this fundraising campaign will be an excellent opportunity to encourage help-seeking behaviour for young men, especially during these challenging times we’re facing with COVID-19. As one of the largest social fraternities in North America, we believe strongly in empowering our community.
We are excited to announce that an anonymous donor, a fellow UBC alumnus and Kappa Sigma member, will be matching every dollar contributed to this fundraising initiative, up to $50,000! Please spread the word and share this important fundraising initiative with your family, friends, colleagues, and community!
COVID-19 has impacted many students and community members, increasing the need for mental health support to cope with depression, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness. Men are at greater risk of depression and suicide due to the stigma they face around reaching out for help. In fact, HeadsUpGuys surveyed 434 Canadian men in their health-seeking community in 2020, and through the survey, learned that approximately 79% of respondents’ mental health was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
Dr. Ogrodniczuk was recently interviewed by the Toronto Star about a new Statistics Canada report indicating that between May and October of 2020 there were over 1,285 more deaths among Canadians aged under 45 than can’t be fully accounted for by COVID-19 or the overdose crisis. Males accounted for 81% of these deaths, with suicide likely being the tragic end to many of these young lives.
One of the objectives of HeadsUpGuys is to increase men’s uptake of professional mental health services through user-friendly online resources. Since launching in June 2015, the impact of HeadsUpGuys has been astounding. To date, there has been over 2 million visitors (UK, USA, and Canada are top visitors).
In 2020, HeadsUpGuys created a COVID-19 HUB to help men manage the many challenges that have been incited by the pandemic. The web page includes articles pointing men to where they can find virtual therapeutic resources. Along with this project, they are currently creating a searchable directory to help visitors to the website locate a mental health professional in their region. The directory will include therapists in Canada, USA, and the UK.
For more details about this initiative, please check out the UBC HeadsUpGuys landing page at: https://headsupguys.org/ubc-sigma-chi-fundraiser/