Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Dr. Rob Whitley & Mr. Jean-Francois Claude: Men's Mental Health

May 02, 2022 Season 3 Episode 9
Thoughts on Record: Podcast of the Ottawa Institute of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Dr. Rob Whitley & Mr. Jean-Francois Claude: Men's Mental Health
Show Notes

While at times a difficult topic to broach, men's mental health reflects an important area of both clinical and research interest.  Moreover, despite the strong emotions that can be evoked by this subject, it is an issue which must be successfully integrated into the current discussion around mental health and wellbeing.  In this wide ranging discussion, professor, author and documentary producer, Dr. Rob Whitley and men's mental health advocate, keynote speaker and panelist, Mr. Jean-Francois Claude join us for a discussion of men's mental health.  In this conversation we cover:  

  • the most common sources of challenge with respect to men’s mental health
  • common misconceptions that clinicians and/or the average lay person may hold with respect to men’s mental health
  • why men’s mental health can feel at times a “radioactive” topic to discuss
  • why men do not disclose their mental health issues to family and/or health care providers 
  • discussion of the term “toxic masculinity” 
  • considerations around discussing the realities of men’s mental health without alienating the equally unique circumstances and burdens of other groups, including women
  • opportunities for men to take responsibility for their mental health at the individual and group level 
  • why men are often viewed as disposable (by themselves and others)
  • how men relate to therapy and current norms in the delivery of psychotherapy as well as innovations in the delivery of mental health services for men
  • the importance of vulnerability in seeking help vs. the reception that men get when demonstrating vulnerability (e.g., military and police clients  and so-called “broken toy” syndrome)

Comments or feedback?  Email the show @

Jean-François Claude regularly shares his lived experience of Persistent Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a bilingual mental health keynote speaker and panelist, leveraging the power of storytelling to help reduce the stigma of mental illness. In 2017, for his advocacy work and anti-stigma efforts in the area of men’s mental health, Jean-François was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal by His Excellency the Governor General of Canada, and was named a Leading Canadian Difference Maker for Mental Health by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Rob Whitley is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, and a Research Scientist at the Douglas Research Centre. He is the author of a new book Men's Issues and Men's Mental Health (Springer 2021).  He is currently a Fonds de recherche du Québec-Santé Senior Research Scholar, and an Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He has also held honorary appointments at King’s College London, Dartmouth Medical School (New Hampshire) and Howard University (Washington DC). He has published over 135 academic papers in the field of social and cultural psychiatry; and has written over 100 mental health related articles for lay audiences in diverse venues including Psychology Today, the HuffPost, the Montreal Gazette, the Vancouver Sun and the National Post. Whitley is also a video-producer and script-writer, and has produced several documentaries and short fictional films related to mental health that have been featured in film festivals across North America.