MEN AGAINST DEPRESSION
Men Against Depression is an interactive website that speaks about the issues surrounding men suffering from depression. The website aims to show how society and culture have a stigmatised view of depression in men which can make men feel lost, different and alone which then leads to serious incidents such as suicide. The website offers help in the form of pages such as; a page to assist with the diagnosis of depression, understanding why there is stigma around depression, where to find help dealing with depression and how modern day ideas around masculinity and mental health are changing. I feel that using digital media to create this project has given me a platform to share and raise awareness about this important issue as there is an ability for anyone to get involved via social media. I also feel that creating an interactive website will take away from the standard ‘clinical’ view of depression to create a more welcoming, easy to navigate and understanding space, where visitors can see why old views on masculinity have changed along with what created these stereotyped views.
When creating my website I was interested in why there is such stigma around mental health issues especially in men, this prompted me to research into what ways the media has portrayed men over time. My findings were that men are usually stereotyped as being fearless, aggressive, strong, and emotionless whilst not being feminine in any way, this leads to an unobtainable and damaging form of masculinity that men often feel trapped in. This portrayal of masculinity over nearly all forms of media creates constructs that are damaging to men and creates the idea that dealing with mental health problems alone is manly and asking for help or admitting that there is a problem is feminine and therefore less manly. Whilst working on this project I have been able to research and investigate the ideas that the media creates about masculinity and the ways in which the media ‘markets’ these ideas of masculinity to the male and female audience. Being able to build on existing research of masculinity in the media and masculinity in society has allowed me to create a link between stigma around mental health, masculinity and the media and in what ways the media plays a role in creating a singular type of masculinity that is completely opposite to the feminine.