It is difficult to talk about mental health as a male in the United States. As a result, many American males don’t have the language to talk about their mental health struggles, and they don’t know how to reach out for help when they are feeling isolated and alone. This stereotypical model of masculinity is exacting a terrible toll on men in the United States. Suicide in America disproportionately affects men. In 2019, men died by suicide 3.63x more often than women. Many men die by suicide because they aren’t able to talk about their issues or get the help that they need. This session will explore some of the epidemiological impacts of our outmoded gender expectations on male's mental health and will present a series of evidence-based practices that can be used to support mental health, and socio-emotional supports that are necessary to thrive in school and society.
Dr. Matthew Wappett is a researcher, a writer, and an educator in leadership, stress management, and inclusion. His approach to “compassionate leadership” has been implemented in many organizations and classrooms. Dr. Wappett is also the Executive Director of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. He also holds an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling. Dr. Wappett’s teaching and research on the effects of stress on learning and behavior helps individuals and organizations understand how to become more resilient and inclusive. Dr. Wappett is committed to providing educators, social workers, and other human service professionals with the tools they need to manage their stress, and the skills they need to become more resilient. He is committed to creating inclusive environments that foster a sense of purpose and belonging. Dr. Wappett’s work is also focused on the effects of laughter as a stress management technique and a tool to create inclusion. Dr. Wappett genuinely enjoys teaching people how to laugh and his engaging and entertaining presentation style has made Dr. Wappett a highly sought-after public speaker and trainer.