The South County Healthcare Hospital System/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) has provided over $117,000 in funding to the University of Maryland School of Social Work (SSW) to study the Washington County, Rhode Island Zero Suicide Program.
The purpose of this study is to test a male-oriented, online program, Man Therapy (www.ManTherapy.org), to improve mental health help-seeking related to depression and suicide among working-aged men in Washington County, R.I.
The principal investigator (PI), SSW professor Jodi Frey, PhD, LCSW-C, CEAP, led the first study to test the effectiveness of Man Therapy with working-age men. Results showed statistically significant decreases in mental health outcomes of depression and suicide risk after using Man Therapy over time. For the current study, we will build on what we learned from prior research and use best practices to engage men throughout Washington County, R.I., to use and assess how Man Therapy encourages help-seeking behaviors and connects men with more formal systems of care and health care, including programs using Zero Suicide guidelines.
Results from this study will inform the field about innovative online interventions to engage working-aged men in suicide help-seeking behavior. If successful in decreasing suicide risk, increasing suicide help-seeking behavior, and increasing connection to Zero Suicide-affiliated referral resources in Rhode Island, the Man Therapy intervention could be further scaled up and offered throughout the country to contribute to a reduction in suicide attempts and deaths.