Local male bar patrons, men enjoying at ballgames in our community parks, and some Green Bay area firefighters may all be seeing some new posters in their respective men’s restrooms. The new art is not an attempt to update the décor, it’s part of a campaign by Foundations Health & Wholeness to breakdown the stigma surrounding men seeking help for their mental well-being.
Earlier this year, Foundations received a grant from J.J. Keller to address the spike in the suicide rate among adult men. While men and women both face life challenges, men are often less likely to seek professional help or even speak with someone close to them about what they are experiencing.
The first phase of the project focused on breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health. Foundations created a web page with facts and links to mental health and substance abuse information, including community resources and local crisis lines. To drive men to visit the page, Foundations produced a series of posters with messages encouraging men to talk about their feelings, normalizing mental health, and ensuring them that seeking help and support is not a sign of weakness.
In order to get the posters in front of as many men as possible, Foundations reached out to a variety of spaces where men are likely to spend time – working, being active and socializing. They worked with municipalities to place posters in recreation centers and park facilities; the firefighters union hung the posters at their stations throughout Green Bay; and, Brown County Tavern League members received posters as well as coasters with similar messages this week that they will use in their establishments. There has been strong support for the project from the businesses and organizations contacted to participate, even businesses who were unable to hang posters due to company policy, responded with support for the program and felt it is an important issue that needs more awareness in our community.
Click HERE for Fox 11 segment on the project.