Third Space Life Charity members Nicole Gerber and Megan Woodruff (left), and Hechangedit members Shannon Crabbe and Candace Chisholm (right) celebrated the launch of ‘he.’, a new app focused on supporting men, on Nov. 18. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Third Space Life Charity members Nicole Gerber and Megan Woodruff (left), and Hechangedit members Shannon Crabbe and Candace Chisholm (right) celebrated the launch of ‘he.’, a new app focused on supporting men, on Nov. 18. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

‘Emotions are gender-less’: Kelowna groups launch support app for men

Barriers preventing men from opening up led to creation of a safe, anonymous online support group

In celebration of men everywhere, a group of mental health advocates in Kelowna are extending a helping hand.

HEchangedit, in collaboration with Third Space Life Charity, is launching a new app just in time for International Men’s Day (Nov. 19).

The app, ‘he.’, connects men around the world seeking help. Through the app they can connect with others in safe, judgment-free zones, and work through problems together. It can be used anonymously.

According to Hechangedit, one man a minute is lost to suicide around the world. What’s more, three out of four suicides in Canada are males. And this need is ever increasing. A recent study showed that 77 per cent of men have felt an increase in stress, anxiety and depression since the pandemic began.

“The really alarming part about that is that 40 per cent said that they won’t talk about it. And 22 per cent said that even if they were suicidal, they still wouldn’t talk to a professional,” said Candace Chisholm, CEO and co-founder of ‘he.’.

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She explained a barrier for men could be picking up the phone and calling. It could be not being able to get to a doctor during regular hours, or having their name associated with a stigma. That’s where the app, two-and-a-half years in the making, comes in.

“By having the opportunity to be anonymous, or engage when and if you need, whenever you need, that starts to break down some of the barriers that exist in traditional health.”

Referencing the tough, boots-on-the-ground work that Third Space performs on a daily basis, Shannon Crabbe, co-founder and COO of the app, said they want ‘he.’ to help.

The goal is to create a safe place for men to talk, 24/7.

“We all have men in our lives that we want to see thrive,” said Nicole Gerber, communications manager with Third Space Life Charity.

The Kelowna charity is a group of people dedicated to building resilience and strength within young people everywhere. For years they have been supporting emotional wellness among young adults during critical points in their lives. Through their student care program, Third Space Life Charity offers free counselling for college and university students.

“We just hope to play a supportive role for our counterparts. Just because we’re women doesn’t mean that we’re not capable of playing a role in supporting men in their mental health. We recognize that emotions are gender-less, they’re universal, and we all experience them, and that’s what connects us all,” Megan Woodruff, Third Space Life Charity project manager.

The best place to find the app, available for pre-order Nov. 19, is through HEchangedit’s website, Hechangedit.com.

READ MORE: Update: COVID-19 exposures at three Central Okanagan schools

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Orchard Park Shopping Centre cancels Santa visit

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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