Cover image of long exposure of man with sparkler

"Forget about what everyone else thinks. No one else knows how you feel or what kind of struggles you’re going through on a day-to-day basis."

About Connor:Connor-profile

I’m a photographer and student who has been a mental health advocate for years because of my own experience, but recently I have been focusing on a project of mine called Project Pilgrim. Project Pilgrim is a Humans of New York style photography blog that’s goal is simply to get people talking about mental health.

What was the major turning point in your recovery from depression?

In my second year of university I was forced to drop out of school because of the depression and anxiety I was facing. I had never felt something like that before and so I headed home from school and sought out the help I needed. I was treated with CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and even though I still am struggling, without that treatment I would not be where I am today.

What are some things that really helped?

It’s okay to ask for help

  • When I left school nobody knew I was struggling. Once I left I told people why and they were all very supportive and understanding. I wish I knew that it was okay to ask for help and talk to others while I was struggling.

Keep talking about it

  • Something I have found once I finished treatment is that everyone expects you are suddenly cured. By continuing the conversation around mental health you can not only support yourself by letting others know how you are doing, but you can also educate people around you who may not know what it is like to be depressed or anxious.

Accepting it’s not your fault

  • Even after all of the great work I have done with mental health around BC and Canada, sometimes it is hard to see that I am no weaker or less manly than any other guy who may or may not be depressed. One of the major things that helped me was accepting that what I was going through was not my fault and that there is very little I could do to prevent myself feeling this way.

What advice would you give to other guys fighting depression?

Forget about what everyone else thinks. No one else knows how you feel or what kind of struggles you’re going through on a day-to-day basis. Don’t let others put you down about your mental health issues and instead lift up others around you so that we can all begin to feel better together.

– Connor McCracken, is the man behind Project Pilgrim and is a mental health advocate based out of British Columbia, Canadainsta


Men's Health Week takes place annually in mid-June, during the week preceding Father’s Day. The week is not just a campaign, but a call to action for men to take better care of their health and for communities to support men in this endeavour.

Men's Health Week 2024