In the Western world, young adult men are at the highest risk of committing suicide. Now, a new campaign—coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Month—is looking to help address this quiet epidemic.
Fingerpaint Group, a collection of healthcare marketing agencies, is launching the boldly titled “Unf*ck Your Feelings,” a social media-heavy campaign that wants younger men, specifically between the ages of 18 and 30, to get help when they are struggling with their mental health.
According to 2020 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, males make up 49% of the population but nearly 80% of suicides. That year, nearly 16,000 men in the U.S. between 15 and 34 years old committed suicide, the highest number among the various age groups included in the research.
Fingerpaint is tapping social media influencers to help remove the stigma younger men feel about asking for mental health help. This includes two mental health therapists, Divya Robin and Justin Puder, Ph.D., and a non-healthcare professional in Conor O'Donnell, an everyday guy who talks openly in a video about the positives of getting therapy. There is also an accompanying website that lists mental health resources, and the influencers’ videos also play on the site.
“It’s normal to feel scared, anxious or just unsure about what’s next,” the website states. “But society can raise men to suck it up from the time they’re born. Emotions are seen as feminine, and struggling is rarely talked about.
“A lot of guys end up hiding tears, running from pain, acting out and feeling alone.”
If this is you, the site notes, then using professionals and talking about how you feel “isn’t soft—it’s smart.”