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  • Jonathan Isserow

Digital Interventions in Men's Mental Health

The final event of the Men's Mental Health week involved a lively panel discussion on Digital Interventions in Men's mental health. The panel was comprised of Zac Seidler from Movember and Orygen, Paul Sharp and Akash Asif from the Buddy Up campaign and John Ogrudniczuk from HeadsUpGuys. Several key messages emerged from the panel. One is that while the burgeoning of mental health apps directed at men raises important awareness, it has also resulted in the splintering of the field In addition, there is little evidence-base for many of the websites and applications out there. While choice is clearly positive, it also may lead to confusion and greater pulling together of digital resources might be most useful. Having said that, there seem to be a few websites that are seeing huge traffic and this includes, HeadsupGuys and Movember Conversations. While it might not be possible for additional men's mental health sites to emerge, it would be key to develop partnerships with other online service to disseminate information already established with an online presence. This might include partnering with other corporations such as dating apps or social media influences. The other factor that needs consideration is that most of these resources are in english and that there is a need to make these sites more inclusive. However, this is not just a matter of translation but ensuring that the material is culturally sensitive to its context audience. This requires substantial resources as these sites need to be sustained and maintained long-term. The event pointed to the potential and problematics of digital intervention, I was left noting that any in person intervention would also need a digital profile to ensure traction, validity and exposure. Huge amount to process and consider. This event also marks the end of my time in Vancouver and this leg of my Fellowship. Thanks to RMS for inviting me to attend these events!

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