Powerful Photos Will Make You Think Differently About Male Mental Health

When it comes to mental health, stigma and stereotyping still prevails – particularly when it comes to men’s mental health. Suicide remains the biggest killer of men aged under 45, with many unable to cope with or talk about how they feel. The traditional notion of masculinity is in large part to blame, coupled with mental health stigma leaving many unable to ask for help. A new photography exhibition hopes to tackle both issues head on, by exploring what it means to be a man in today’s world and shine a light on the limitations of traditional masculinity.

By “re-picturing how such issues are seen” the exhibition, which coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week (8-14 May), hopes to start important conversations about men’s mental health. Lee Martin, SVP EMEA at Getty Images and founder of the partnership with The Calm Photography Movement said: “There’s still massive stigma around mental illness, and all too often images representing mental health conditions play into narrow and outdated stereotypes.

“Depicting diversity accurately is one of our biggest priorities at Getty Images, and we’re committed to creating a range of true-to-life, authentic imagery that accurately and sensitively reflects the experience of mental illness.”

All too often images representing mental health conditions play into narrow and outdated stereotypes.’

Nick Knight, British fashion photographer and one of the judges, said: “In most societies, men feel forced into unrealistic and unachievable roles. This can create isolation, loneliness and despair and so when things go wrong – which in life they invariably do – men can feel they have no-one to turn to and no right to seek help from any quarter.

“I believe that the more we break away from using gender as a deciding factor in how we should behave, the more lives will be saved. I wholeheartedly support any initiative that helps raise awareness of male suicide and opens up the conversation, thus reducing this awful and unnecessary waste of precious life and its horrific toll on the wider victims, their friends and families.”

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Free Yourself Global 

Transcendent Media Capital develops its own global campaigns which combine a range of media assets and grass roots action as well as collaborations with NGO’s globally to inform, educate, challenge myths and stereotypes and to create practical projects that contribute resources to solving issues globally. Much like this photography exhibition, our global domestic violence campaign Free Yourself Global aims to challenge the narrow and outdated two-dimensional stereotypes that either vilify the perpetrators as “monsters” or glorify them to the point where their crimes become unthinkable.  It is our contention that in order for people to better understand this type of abuse, they need a three-dimensional view of all those involved.  That is why this initiative hopes to bring together all of the voices of the participants of domestic violence, including recovering abusers, victims, children, educators, support agencies and health professionals, law enforcement agencies, politicians, celebrities and social entrepreneurs who work to aid in this cause. It is in this aim that “Free Yourself” inspires us. You can share your story with us on social media using the hashtag #FreeYourselfGlobal or anonymously here, via our website. 

For more info on how you can choose to tell story and how it will be used to help other people in need, or to learn how to become involved in other ways with this breakthrough campaign, email info@freeyourselfglobal.comTo simply keep up to date on our campaign and the latest news pertaining to domestic violence worldwide make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram


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