Receiving an official proclamation from Mayor Jim Watson for Men's Mental Health Awareness Day on Tuesday, Jean-Francois Claude smiled broadly and said it's a good day.
But there were many darker ones that prompted him to create the Men's Depression Education Network.
"I basically hit that wall, broke down and called my doctor's office (two years ago). Basically, my life was out of whack. I was burying myself in work, withdrawing from all kinds of activities I used to enjoy doing, classic symptoms of depression, but I didn't recognize that myself."
Claude is now dealing with his depression, in part by taking medication, but back then he was frustrated.
"There was very little information, it seemed to be scattered a little bit everywhere across the web...and so as I bookmarked sites of interest, I then decided to create a sort of an online portal where it would be much easier for men who are looking for information."
He said www.TheMensDEN.ca offers an informal screening and other resources on the symptoms of depression.
Claude explained men don't just worry about the social stigma when deciding whether to seek help, but also deal with a self-stigma.
"You know, I'm of a generation where young boys were basically told, you're right, suck it up buttercup, move on, you got to be strong, boys don't cry, you know that kind of thing. So you internalize everything."