CHARLOTTE, N.C. — September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and when it comes to men’s mental health, the numbers are staggering.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports 78% of people who die by suicide are male, and men are nearly four times more likely to die by suicide than women. In Charlotte, a therapist is using his own experiences to help clients tackle their mental health concerns.
Miller says he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in college and that sparked his journey with mental health. He says at one point, he attempted suicide three times.
“That emotional pain, those voices that I was hearing and dealing with that depression stage, that’s something that you can’t run away from,” he said.
Miller started Good Stress Company in 2019 with the goal of helping people feel comfortable going to see a therapist. Only one in three Black adults who need mental health care can get it, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“I realized that a lot of the treatment and modalities and stuff weren’t based on our people because a lot of it is based on white male viewpoints,” Miller said.
In addition to his practice, Miller started a nonprofit, Eustress Inc, in 2013 to help give people access to free therapy.
“Last year, we were able to [offer] 1,400 therapy sessions for free for people that couldn’t afford it. This year we’re actually on track to do 5,000,” he said.
Miller says the waiting list for his clinic is full of dozens of people looking for someone to talk to. He says the work is far from over, and with each session he’s making progress to help others break the stigma.
“It’s going to take a community effort. It’s going to take us all pitching in and being able to check in on your loved ones, actually really hold them accountable,” he said.
If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotiline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or you can text NAMI to 741-741.