Saturday, September 25, 2010

Male depression and suicide commercial...

OK, the production quality is pretty low...but it's a start...

Pass the link on everyone, lets give these guys some exposure.

REGINA — A television commercial made possible by fundraising done in memory of former MP Dave Batters aims to raise awareness of mental illness among men.

The 30-second production is now airing on television in southern Saskatchewan and is also available on YouTube.

It’s part of a campaign by the Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to encourage men aged 30-50 to get help for anxiety and depression.

Donna Bowyer, director of the Friends for Life program at CMHA Saskatchewan, said money raised at the first annual Dave Batters Memorial Golf Tournament in June was used to produce the ad and pay for air time.

Batters, who was twice elected in the Palliser riding, went public in September 2008 with his battle with anxiety and depression, in the hope it could encourage others with the conditions to get help.

Despite his efforts and support from his friends and family, Dave took his own life in June 2009, shortly before his 40th birthday.

His family, including his wife Denise Batters, has spoken about his death to help remove the stigma that surrounds depression.

Bowyer said the advertisement is meant to help men realize that mental illness can affect them and it is OK to seek help.

“Men are often overlooked when it comes to depression,” she said, adding men are sometimes diagnosed with health issues such as high blood pressure while depression is overlooked.

“There’s also that idea of denial ... because the whole stigma of mental illness.”

People struggling with depression sometimes feel they are weak, which simply isn’t the case, she said.

“People need to recognize that there is help. I think that’s the biggest message we want to get out there. If you’re struggling, get help. Ask for help. And you may need to be your own advocate to get the help you need,” Bowyer said.

“Depression is not a weakness. Depression is something that’s treatable. Depression doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your career or any of those things. What we need to do is get you treated, get you back into life again.”

The commercial was produced in Regina with local actors. It shows a man admitting to a friend that he is not all right, while words on the screen tell viewers: “You are not alone. There is help. Please reach out

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