Faculty Advisor

Jeffrey Rings

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In 2017, over 35,000 men died by suicide in the United States. Roughly 15% of men in the United States are struggling with a mental health disorder at any given time. Despite this, men tend to be less likely than women to engage in mental health services. In response, the Man Therapy program was created. It is a public health campaign that employs a website, online screening tools, billboard ads, and more, all designed to frame seeking mental health treatment as being compatible with traditional masculinity. It does so through the use of a comically masculine mascot, Dr. Rich Mahogany, alongside humor that is frequently irreverent in tone. Initially it sought to lower rates of suicide in men, and it later expanded to help engage men across a variety of mental health concerns. There are currently no peer reviewed studies that examine the effectiveness of this public health intervention. According to Ajzen’s (1985) theory of planned behavior, attitudes are a key component for predicting future behavior. If Man Therapy is impacting men’s attitudes towards using mental health services, this would suggest that these men are more likely to engage in mental health services in the future, if needed. This research will randomly assign the participants (adult men) to one of three groups: one group will interact with the Man Therapy website, one group will interact with a mental health website designed for general use, and the last group will receive no intervention. After this, the participants will complete the Mental Help Seeking Attitudes Scale (MHSAS) (Hammer, Parent, & Spiker, 2018). The researcher will then use an ANOVA statistical analysis, with appropriate subsequent analyses, to see if the Man Therapy website resulted in higher scores in the MHSAS than a generic mental health website, no intervention at all, or both.