For Many Men, Apps Can Be ‘an Important Gateway to Mental Health’

Washington Post

Key Messages:



Men experience mental health difficulties


  •  “Research has shown that men often avoid seeking help because of gender expectations that they should not appear vulnerable or unable to handle their own problems… They seek help for mental health struggles at approximately half the rate of women.”
  • “Men are far more likely to be underdiagnosed for mental health problems than are women, research has found, because many health-care practitioners often misread men’s symptoms. When metrics are used that more accurately gauge their symptoms…men are nearly depressed as women”


Mental health apps may be particularly appealing to men


  • “Mental health apps have become an important resource for men…Many men…say these “cyber-well” and mental health apps…provide a peer community and support in a setting that provides both privacy and convenience. In interviews, men said one of the biggest advantages with these apps was anonymity.”
  • “The hope of those touting mental health and well-being apps is that the greater anonymity and privacy they proffer will erode men’s reticence about seeking help.”


The power of online community


  • “Before joining [app] Tethr, Jason Henderson was part of an in-person men’s group..”The solutions and advice didn’t feel emotionally supportive at all,” he said. That changed, he said, when he joined Tethr. Fellow forum posters responded, “That sounds really rough” and “I can remember when I went through the same thing,””
  • “In addition to showing empathy, it helped him “broaden my emotional vocabulary so I could talk about what my anxiety and depression looked and felt like.” This didn’t cure his depression, but it decreased its intensity…and diminished his feeling of shame.”

Click here to read the full article.

Washington Post

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Victoria Hornby

CEO, Mental Health Innovations, UK

International Phone and Text Helplines

Victoria is CEO of Mental Health Innovations, the charity behind SHOUT, the UK’s first 24/7 crisis text service. From 2011 to 2017, she was Director of Programmes at The Royal Foundation, building a portfolio of projects including the Invictus Games, Coach Core, United for Wildlife and Heads Together.