About the Campaign

Stopping Medication Can Backfire
Depending on severity of depression, anti-depressant medications may be needed for several months or even years.  Stopping medication as soon as one feels better can cause a relapse.  Always consult your doctor about changes in medication. 


“We actually went through
several medications before
we found one that was
both effective and didn’t
have side effects I couldn’t

– John Head

About the Campaign

Men Get Depression National Educational Outreach Campaign is an effort to increase knowledge, reduce stigma, and promote screening and treatment for depression and educate the public about depression and suicide risk. The compelling motive for this initiative was our recognition that stigma towards depression and other mental illnesses was deeply entrenched in US society and that it operated as an especially tenacious deterrent to awareness and treatment among men; and that the struggle to lessen and eventually neutralize stigma remained a formidable one, especially among disadvantaged men from minority communities. Men Get Depression focuses on raising awareness that depression is a disease that is treatable with a high percentage of success.

Men Get Depression has been developed by State of the Art, an Academy Award® winning social marketing company focused on health and education. Grady Watts produced and directed all media elements. www.stateart.com

The campaign elements include:

Men Get Depression Campaign Goals:

  • Provide compelling, research-based evidence that depression is a treatable condition with a high rate of success
  • De-stigmatize depression and dispel common myths about depression, its symptoms and treatment options
  • Show the relationship between depression and substance abuse
  • Educate the public about the human and societal costs of untreated depression in men including suicide
  • Prevent suicides
  • Raise awareness of mental health disparities among minority and low-income men, with a specific focus on Latino, Asian and African American men
  • Provide access to culturally competent and low-literacy tested information to local, culturally appropriate mental health care providers

Symposium on Health Disparities in Male Depression

The campaign launched on November 6, 2007 with the Symposium on Health Disparities in Male Depression at the Kaiser Family Foundation Center in Washington, D.C. with keynote speakers Congressman Patrick Kennedy and David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D. This event was developed by State of the Art with Morehouse School of Medicine and the University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center. It continues to be web cast nationwide. To access the web cast go to http://www.kaisernetwork.org/healthcast/morehouse/06nov07

Broadcast special Men Get Depression on Public Television May 2008

The corrosive effect of depression on the self, relationships and careers is dramatically portrayed through intimate profiles including a former NFL Quarterback, a Fortune 100 CEO, recent immigrants, an unemployed Iraq War veteran, a university professor, a pastor, and others.  The profiles show this insidious disease knows no racial, socio-economic or age-related boundaries and is potentially lethal due to its correlation with suicide.

Community Outreach

With funding from the Wellpoint Foundation, we developed this website that includes a toolkit for planning community events, free downloadable resources and film clips. It also features resources and links to our partners.
Wellpoint Foundation has also funded the Men Get Depression campaign outreach to 14 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Nevada, Virginia, and Wisconsin. In each state, Mental Health America affiliates and members of American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and other project partners are planning localized outreach and promotion. In Wisconsin, the Charles E. Kubly Foundation funded distribution of the outreach DVD to public libraries and additional outreach events.

As part of the broadcast promotion, community events focus on raising awareness that depression is a disease that is treatable with a high percentage of success. The events utilize the evaluated outreach materials – Men Get Depression DVDs and companion booklets. By partnering with community-based mental healthcare providers, this campaign helps men and their families identify treatment options that are both locally and culturally relevant. Where needed, depression-screening tools are being made available to these providers.

Men Get Depression Community Outreach DVD includes these elements in English and Spanish:
* Three short videos that focus on issues of mental health care in three stages of men’s lives representing a unique set of challenges and potential triggers of depression:

  • 18-30, the beginning of work life and college years
  • 30-55, the middle years of career and family life
  • 55+, and later life.

A downloadable booklet on men and depression designed for both men and their families.  It includes symptoms of depression, risk factors for suicide, an explanation of treatment options (medication and therapy) and how to seek help. It includes resources for those who are under or uninsured.