Preventing Suicide in Michigan Men (PRiSMM) is a comprehensive multi-component collaboration designed to reduce rates of suicide morbidity and mortality among adult men in Michigan by 10% over the next five years.
With a focus on adult men in Michigan, who represent almost 70% of the overall 1,500 suicide deaths annually in the state, PRiSMM will make a significant impact in suicide prevention throughout the state.
The University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) will help to lead the state-wide public health campaign, PRiSMM, with online promotion of Man Therapy™ and coordination of efforts for online and community-based promotion.
The program launched in December, 2020, during a time when the mental health impacts of the COVID pandemic include well-documented increases in drug misuse and increase risk for suicide, with working aged men at particularly high risk.
Background of Project
UMSSW has been a leader in the prevention of suicide throughout Michigan evidenced by its successful public health campaign and randomized control trial (RCT) research study (CDC; 1U01CE002661), Healthy Men Michigan (HMM).
HMM was funded for four years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and led by Principal Investigator, Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey, Professor and Associate Dean for Research at UMSSW.Findings showed promising results for depression and suicide risk after using online interventions, such as Man Therapy.
The results of this study show that men who were offered Man Therapy as one of the digital tools to assess and address their mental health reported a significant decrease in depression and suicidal ideation over time, as well as a reduction in poor mental health days. Men in the Man Therapy only group also reported improvement in social support and treatment motivation over time. Additionally, a follow-on study using Dr. Frey's HMM data shows that men in the Man Therapy intervention group reported statistically significant improved rates of engaging in formal help-seeking behaviors through tools like online treatment locator systems, making or attending a mental health treatment appointment, or attending a professionally led support group compared with those who only received screening and referrals.
Dr. Frey and her team will continue its partnership from the HMM project with Grit Digital Health (the company that develops and licenses Man Therapy) to license, promote, and provide direct online services to men using Man Therapy.
They will work with the broader PRiSMM team to engage previous partner organizations who were engaged with the HMM project and to build new partnerships and networks that will work to engage men online to use the Man Therapy website. UMSSW will work with the broader PRiSMM evaluation team to incorporate Man Therapy messaging into the project’s overall comprehensive initiatives that focus on healthcare (i.e., Zero Suicide), tele-mental health, and firearm safety and training. UMSSW will continuously monitor project outreach, marketing, and website and social media accounts to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of Man Therapy on reaching men throughout the State.
About Man Therapy
Man Therapy uses stories of hope, resilience, and recovery, coupled with humor, to reduce stigma and reshape the conversation around suicide prevention and men’s mental health.
Men approaching crisis and their loved ones can access Men Therapy’s online resource (www.mantherapy.org) to learn more about men’s mental health, examine their own and consider a wide array of actions that can put them on the path to treatment and recovery.
Man Therapy initially launched in Colorado on July 9, 2012, as the result of a unique partnership between Cactus, a Denver-based advertising agency, and the Office of Suicide Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This groundbreaking new approach to men’s mental health issues has since launched in several states across the U.S., as well as internationally.
Man Therapy Michigan does not provide crisis response or clinical services. If you are concerned and think you or a loved one may need immediate help, please go to your local emergency department or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing "988" for 24/7, free and confidential support.
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- Frey, J. J., Osteen, P. J., Sharpe, T. L., Mosby, A. O., Joiner, T., Ahmedani, B., Iwamoto, D., Nam, B., Spencer-Thomas, S., Ko, J., Ware, O. D., Imboden, R., Cornette, M. M., & Gilgoff, J. N. (2022). Effectiveness of Man Therapy to reduce suicidal ideation and depression among working-age men: A randomized controlled trial. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, doi: 10.1111/stlb.12932.
- Gilgoff, J. N., Wagner, F., Frey, J. J., Osteen, P. (2022). Help-seeking and Man Therapy: The impact of an online suicide intervention. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, doi: 10.1111/sltb.12929
Jodi Jacobson Frey: PhD, LCSW-C, Principal Investigator, Professor, University of Maryland School of Social Work and Faculty Executive Director, Behavioral Health and Well-Being Lab (BHWell Lab)
Philip Osteen: PhD, Associate Professor, and Director Social Research Institute, University of Utah College of Social Work
Amanda Mosby: MA, Project Manager, University of Maryland
Erika Shook: BS, Public Relations Specialist, University of Maryland
Thomas Vossler: Partnership Manager, Grit Digital Health