Luke Adams spent two years planning and five months training before diving into the Arctic Ocean, all for a short film with a powerful message.
Trigger warning: The following content contains descriptions of depression, suicide and mental health challenges, which may be distressing to some readers.
Men's mental health is a subject many people avoid, as men are often expected to mask their feelings and not express emotion, no matter how much they're struggling. According to the CDC, in the United States nearly 80% of all suicides are men, and studies have revealed that a high proportion of men feel more depressed than they admit to others. It’s been historically taboo for men to speak about their emotional struggles and mental health.
An independent filmmaker, Luke Adams, spent two years planning and five months training before diving into the Arctic Ocean, all for a short film with a powerful message. With the help of Movember, a men's mental health awareness organization, Adams was able to finish his project. "It’s a really ridiculous concept, swimming under an iceberg, but there is a really important purpose and that purpose is mental health awareness and specifically men’s mental health, a rarely talked about cause that’s really personal to me,” said Adams to Fox 61.
Luke Adams went freediving under an iceberg to inspire men to share their mental health journey. For #WorldMentalHealthDay, watch the full video: https://t.co/mtNdaQw6M3.— Movember USA (@Movember) October 10, 2022
This was performed by a trained professional with a trained and experienced team. Do not try this yourself. pic.twitter.com/h2unh7zkhG
In a write-up for Movember, Adams explains why he chose what he chose as his theme. He wrote, "At this point, you may be asking yourself, 'What do icebergs have to do with mental health?' Symbolically, many of us hide our struggles below the surface away from friends, family members, and even ourselves. Our hope for this film is to serve as a powerful visual metaphor on the invisible battles that many of us hide, just below the surface." He continued, adding that the motive for him to do this work was to encourage men to talk about their mental health. "Personally, I've struggled with anxiety and self-doubt for the past 25 years of my life. Like many men, I kept this to myself until just a few weeks ago. As a commercial filmmaker and entrepreneur, I wanted to do something that had never been done before, in order to inspire men to feel confident in sharing their own mental health journey," he wrote.
He also explained the goal he expects from this short film, writing, "Our goal with this film is to empower men to talk about their mental health. To have an even larger impact on men's health, I challenge you to donate to my Movember fundraising efforts and share this article with your connections. Movember is the leading global charity focused solely on men's health. Movember raises funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer." Adams also shared a similar message with Fox61, adding, "We want to bring mental health to the surface, we want people to talk about it and we want more people to feel confident asking for help when they need it."
Adams added that he hopes this film would "bring the rarely discussed issue of men's mental health to the surface," and that he aims to inspire the audience to "face their invisible battles with confidence - knowing that their inner resilience is much stronger than they think."
The project also partnered with Sheath Underwear, which Adams describes as a "purpose-driven brand," and the earnings of the brand will go directly to Mo Space, an organization that drives conversations on mental health and masculinity. "To up the ante even further, I have partnered with a purpose-driven men’s fashion brand, Sheath Underwear, to dedicate an exclusive design of underwear to this film. Sheath will be donating 25% of all sales on this underwear line directly to my Mo Space, in an effort to support men’s mental health."