Taking a more comical approach to targeting men’s depression has helped national charity beyondblue increase its effectiveness fivefold.
The charity aired its multi-million dollar Man Therapy ads throughout The Ashes, the Big Bash League and the One Day International cricket matches and saw visits to the website jump from 3,800 each fortnight to 19,000 each fortnight.
Beyondblue chairman Jeff Kennett credited the “dry, humorous” approach of the ads with increasing the number of visitors completing the Man Therapy website’s mental health quiz from one in ten to one in three.
Mr Kennett said it was “incredible” to see the ads had opened the charity up to a much larger audience, with 90 per cent of the site’s visitors reported as being new.
The charity say the humorous campaign was the first of its kind in Australia and estimate that around two million men saw the ads.
One in eight men will suffer from depression at some stage in their lives, the charity estimates.
Beyondblue CEO Kate Carnell said the results gave hope for reducing suicide in men, who are three times more likely to die by suicide than women.
“The latest Australian Bureau of Statistic’s figures show that in 2011, the number of men who died by suicide is almost twice the number who died on the roads that year which means suicide is currently the biggest killer of males aged between 15 and 44,” she said.
Ms Carnell said most men didn’t want to talk about emotional issues and hoped the campaign would encourage them to speak with their doctor.
The campaign was funded by the Federal Government as part of the Taking Action to Tackle Suicide Initiative.
This article first appeared on ‘WA Today’ on 21 January 2014.