What started as a simple survey in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, became the catalyst for creating HeadsUpGuys. Men clearly indicated they were having suicidal thoughts on the survey, yet failed to mention these thoughts to the doctor they were about to see.

This led us to creating an online, anonymous resource specifically designed for men, and their families, to prevent the continued erosion of men’s mental health and deaths by suicide.

Depression and Suicide in Men

  • Men die by suicide at a much higher rate than women do (3x times the rate in Canada, the US, and the UK) [1,2,3]
  • Suicide is a leading cause of death for men under 50 years old [2,4,5]
  • Men are much less likely than women to get help for their mental health [6]
  • Over 75% of men who complete our Self Check (a depression screening tool) meet the criteria for probable depression

HeadsUpGuys’ content is derived from evidence-based research and includes both clinician and patient perspectives to ensure the accuracy and relatability of our content. Learn more about our writing process.

For facts and figures about suicide see Stats on Suicide in Men.

References

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. (2020). Suicide in Canada: Key Statistics (infographic) – Canada.ca. Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/suicide-canada-key-statistics-infographic.html
  2. Mental Health Foundation. (2021). Men and mental health. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/m/men-and-mental-health
  3. Curtin, S. C., & Hedegaard, H. (2019). Suicide Rates for Females and Males by Race and Ethnicity: United States, 1999 and 2017. National Center for Health Statistics. https://save.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/rates_1999_2017.pdf
  4. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Leading Causes of Death – Males – All races and origins – United States, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/lcod/men/2017/all-races-origins/index.htm
  5. Statistics Canada. (2020). Leading causes of death, total population, by age grouphttps://doi.org/10.25318/1310039401-eng
  6. Walby, F. A., Myhre, M. V., & Kildahl, A. T. (2018). Contact With Mental Health Services Prior to Suicide: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Psychiatric Services, 69(7), 751–759. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ps.201700475

HeadsUpGuys

Our Vision

  • We envision a world where men make mental health a priority, and suicide is no longer a top 5 cause of death for men of any age.

Our Mission

  • To support men in their recovery from depression, reduce their risk of suicide, and inspire them to live healthier lives.

Our Mandate

  • To improve mental health literacy among men, reduce stigma, arm men (and their friends, families, and communities) with strategies for effective self-management, and support their uptake of mental health services.

Our Values

  • HeadsUpGuys supports men’s mental health in a positive, inclusive, and mutually supportive way with and for people of all backgrounds, regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. 
  • HeadsUpGuys does not support discrimination of any form, is not involved in Men’s Rights Activism, and does not support misogyny.

Learn more about:

Our Program

HeadsUpGuys is a program of The University of British Columbia (UBC), operating under the leadership of Dr. John Ogrodniczuk, who is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Director of the Psychotherapy Program at UBC

Our team of clinicians, researchers, and mental health advocates bring together their expertise and personal experiences to provide you with this unique resource. 

HeadsUpGuys is located at UBC’s Vancouver Campus, on the traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. HeadsUpGuys is a global resource, with over 3,000,000 visits from countries around the world.

HeadsUpGuys website resource was launched in 2015. 

Operational costs of HeadsUpGuys are funded exclusively through the generosity of private donations.

Our Team

John with UBC shirt

Dr. John Ogrodniczuk,
Founder of HeadsUpGuys

Professor of Psychiatry at UBC and Director of the UBC Psychotherapy Program
John with UBC shirt

Dr. John Ogrodniczuk,
Founder of HeadsUpGuys

Professor of Psychiatry at UBC and Director of the UBC Psychotherapy Program

Dr. Ogrodniczuk is a Professor of Psychiatry at UBC and Director of the UBC Psychotherapy Program. In his role as Director, he oversees the operations of North America’s 2nd largest medically based psychotherapy training program. His research has been supported by various provincial and national funding bodies, and has led to more than 250 scientific publications.

In addition to his research, he is involved with teaching medical students and psychiatry residents, serves in various capacities with a number of scientific and clinical journals, and consults with mental health clinics about service provision and evaluation.

Dr. Ogrodniczuk is available for consultation to help men develop strategies for healthy living and recovery through his life consulting practice, Optimum Consulting.

View articles written by John.

Portrait of Josh

Joshua R Beharry,
Project Manager

B.Sc. majoring in Computer Science, UBC
Portrait of Josh

Joshua R Beharry,
Project Manager

B.Sc. majoring in Computer Science, UBC

Since recovering from experiences with depression in 2010, Josh has become a passionate advocate for mental health. Josh coordinates HeadsUpGuys communications and website. For more information about his recovery see his post “I never wanted to die, I only wanted to end my pain.”

View articles written by Josh.

Joel Robison

Joel Robison,
Social Media Coordinator and Graphic Designer

Conceptual Artist, Photographer, and Social Media Specialist
Joel Robison

Joel Robison,
Social Media Coordinator and Graphic Designer

Conceptual Artist, Photographer, and Social Media Specialist

Joel Robison is a Canadian photographer and mental health advocate. He has worked with international brands as well as non-profit organizations, creating work that is both thoughtful and imaginative. His close personal connections to men’s mental health and suicide have motivated him to take on a more active role in ending the stigma around the conversation about mental health.

Headshot of Quinn

Quinn Storey,
Volunteer Research, Writer

Student, B.A. majoring in Psychology, UBC
Headshot of Quinn

Quinn Storey,
Volunteer Research, Writer

Student, B.A. majoring in Psychology, UBC

Quinn has always taken a keen interest in mental health and the factors that affect it. Since beginning his studies at UBC, this interest has developed into an examination of how our daily behaviours promote or undermine our general well-being.

Quinn supports the ideals of HeadsUpGuys and hopes to help those in need of assistance with his contributions to the team.

View articles written by Quinn.

Kyle

Kyle Parrotta,
Volunteer, Donor Engagement and Marketing

B.Com., University of Alberta
Kyle

Kyle Parrotta,
Volunteer, Donor Engagement and Marketing

B.Com., University of Alberta

With experience in donor engagement and digital marketing, Kyle is a big advocate of making mental health resources more accessible to people. He looks to help increase the awareness of HeadsUpGuys impact and make their resources more accessible through donations.

 

Photo of Joe in front of "British Genius Site" sign

Joe Rachert,
Volunteer, Marketing and Communications

Marketing, Communications, and Men's Health Professional
Photo of Joe in front of "British Genius Site" sign

Joe Rachert,
Volunteer, Marketing and Communications

Marketing, Communications, and Men's Health Professional

Joe has been working in men’s health for the past decade, 9 years of which was spent as the Program Manager for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation. What started as a two-week gig to produce an event, evolved into a career and passion for shifting how men think about their health. This shift in thinking is just beginning and it will take weeks, months, years, and possibly a generation or two before that shift is complete.

Joe remembers HeadsUpGuys launching 6 years ago and thinking this is specifically what men’s health needs in the stigma space to tackle depression and suicide. Joe will be focusing his volunteer efforts to foster funding opportunities for HUG’s by connecting the “men’s health dots” across Canada so we can all keep shifting that thinking

Portrait of Jennifer

Jennifer Phan, Volunteer Research

B.Sc. majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience, UBC
Portrait of Jennifer

Jennifer Phan, Volunteer Research

B.Sc. majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience, UBC

Guided by an interest in psychological sciences and a passion for mental health advocacy, Jennifer hopes to contribute to HeadsUpGuys’ vision to support men’s mental health.

Our Contributors

A special thanks to the following individuals for their contributions to the development of HeadsUpGuys.

John looking at camera

Dr. John Oliffe

Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia
Headshot of Mark

Mark Goodwin

Metadata Coordinator, UBC Library, University of British Columbia
Photo of George

Dr. George Hadjipavlou

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
Joy looking at camera

DR. JOY JOHNSON

President, Simon Fraser University
Joan looking at camera

DR. JOAN BOTTORFF

Professor and Chair in Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention, UBC Okanagan

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