Public art and panel discussion to address Men's Mental Health Week

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      Anger, irritability, and alcohol abuse can often conceal deeper mental health issues among men.

      According to UBC nursing professor John Oliffe, who helps to lead UBC's Men's Health Research Program, points out that this makes it sometimes difficult to diagnose men's mental health issues.  

      In a news release, he adds that three out of four Canadian suicides are by men.

      For Men's Mental Health Week (which kicks off on Men's Mental Health Awareness Day on June 14), the program is raising awareness of such issues with a public art exhibit and panel discussion.

      At the Vancouver Art Gallery on June 13 and 14, the public art piece Refract will consist of five mannequins that are each painted with a different quote representing masculine archetypes.

      The art piece is intended to address the stigma surrounding men's mental health, help men realize they're not alone, and encourage the expression of emotions in constructive ways.

      The public symposium Contact! Unload will be held on June 16 at the Foster Eastman Gallery (1445 West Georgia) and on June 17 at UBC Ponderosa Commons (Room 1009, 6445 University Boulevard). A panel of experts, including mental-health professionals, artists, and counsellors, will discuss the role art can play in helping veterans explore their experiences on the battlefront as they return to civilian life.

      For more information about Men's Health Week 2016, which includes events in Kelowna, Prince George, and Ottawa, visit the UBC Men's Health Research website.