Double exposure image of a man

"As men, we all have to lean on each other and work together to fight the stigma."

About Noah:

Portrait Photo of Noah Battista

I’m in my fourth year of psychology at The University of British Columbia (UBC). I am hoping to work in the mental health sector, challenging the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and addiction.

I have dedicated much of my time at UBC to destigmatizing mental health and help-seeking in my fraternity and on campus. I am also currently working on an international research project investigating the role of culture in imposter syndrome in the workplace. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the beautiful BC backcountry!


I suffered from anxiety and undiagnosed ADHD for as long as I can remember, creating many unexplained difficulties. I experienced a lot of rejection and criticism from my peers, including people close to me, which led to intense depressive episodes. The turning point for me was after a suicide attempt. I realized that I was sick and needed to do something about it. Even though it was difficult at first, I began to open up to my close friends about my struggle and realized that I wasn’t alone.

As men, there is a much stronger stigma around emotions and mental health. Still, the people you love, especially other male friends, make great support since they have probably gone through something similar. Once I acknowledged this, I became more aware of my depressive thoughts and emotions in general. I started therapy, which is how I found out ADHD was likely behind my struggle. Eventually, I learned to accept my feelings and committed to healthier beliefs and habits.

The first step to recovery is relying on those you love. You are never a burden.


  • One of the biggest things I suffer from when I am depressed is having zero motivation. To help with this, I set small goals for myself (e.g. get out of bed) and try to progressively do more each day (e.g. shower, go to class), so I can see my growth and be proud.
  • Going to therapy. It took me a couple of tries to stick with it, but once you feel ready and find the right therapist, starting therapy (and sticking with it!) is the best way to learn more about yourself and maintain good mental health.
  • Getting outside. Getting out into nature is a quick relief from the chaos, and it is something we seriously lack in the modern world.
  • Self-acceptance. Understanding that you are not your emotions but the one experiencing them allows you to let go of unhelpful thinking and feel the feeling. In short, park the thoughts, and have the feelings.
  • Make sure you have taken care of your basic needs:
    • Get enough sleep
    • Eat enough food
    • Drink enough water
    • Shower
  • Lastly, reach out to friends. Social contact is a massive part of what makes us feel good! It can feel like the most challenging thing when you are depressed, but calling that friend for a coffee or a walk can make a tremendous difference to your mood.


Know that you aren’t alone. It’s striking how many men have a mental illness and choose to hide it. As someone who does this from time to time, I urge myself and others battling depression to TALK ABOUT IT. As men, we all have to lean on each other and work together to fight the stigma around depression. The more of us who speak up, and help others, the less stigma there is. Once we feel comfortable talking, then healing begins.

– Noah Battista, Vancouver, BC, Canada