Encouraging men to open up about mental health

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As part of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, there’s one man who’s been devoting much of his time for years to breaking the stigma surrounding brain health.

Doug Meijer works a lot with “I Understand” and said some progress has been made to break down barriers regarding depression and mental health, but he’s hoping more men start opening up about the issue.

“I think men talk about it far less than women and in general, we don’t talk about it enough. If somebody has cancer if somebody has heart problems we can talk about that. If somebody breaks their leg, oh, that’s too bad. We talk about it and it’s okay. But if you have mental health issues or brain health issues, you’re going to therapy or you’re on some type of medication for your depression, we seem to tend to sweep it under the rug and not talk about it. Oh, they’re crazy or that’s just the way they are. It’s time that we really get out there and be open about talking about it which will help others and break the stigma along the way,” Meijer said.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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