Mo Bro Luke Adams Freediving in GreenlandImage by: Daan Verhoeven
5 October 2022

Luke’s Story: Freediving Under an Iceberg for Men’s Health

Mo Bro
Luke Adams
3 minutes read time

80% of all suicides are men and 49% 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.

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 recently. 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. The idea was to create a short film involving swimming underneath an iceberg in Greenland wearing only a pair of Sheath Underwear -- no oxygen tank, no mask and no wetsuit. All while being exposed to the coldest water on Earth at 28° F.

I’ve always had the impression that I needed to hide my struggles below the surface in order to appear “a man”. The first few months of the pandemic caused me to collapse and sink into the darkest 12-month period of my life under the pressures of running a business, financial insecurities, and isolation.

" It was then that I learned that asking for help wouldn't make me weak. It meant surviving to fight another day. "

At this point you may be asking yourself, “What do icebergs have to do with mental health?” The idea to swim under an iceberg came from a dream that I had where I was deep underwater holding up the weight of a glacier in my hands and feeling totally calm and at peace (something I rarely felt in my life on land). 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.

I first learned of Movember after my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer when I was 15. It surprised me that even physical health was taboo for men to speak about and I know my dad had trouble opening up to us about it. Through the pandemic, my own mental health suffered and I didn’t have an outlet to talk about it.

It’s hard to speak on just one mental health challenge I have faced in my life as my anxiety is often a daily battle for me. Starting with school, continuing in my early adult life, and I find myself still to this day overthinking and imagining problems that don’t exist. I honestly didn’t think I had anyone to turn to except myself in these moments of darkness.

Through this project, I had to face the same emotions as the character (fear, anxiety, self-doubt). There were many points where I felt like giving up because the challenge felt too impossible. The water at 28’ F was too cold, I was scared of being that deep underwater, the story was too crazy, etc. Facing these emotions and separating myself from them made me realize I’m strong enough to face my invisible battles on my own.

My message to others is to realize just how much goes on below the surface. A man may appear strong, calm and collected but be struggling to stay afloat on the inside. You’re stronger than you think and by embracing adversity, you can accomplish anything. The philosophy I learned from this experience was that by facing what I’m most afraid of - I will come out stronger.

Support Luke’s efforts to raise funds and awareness for men’s mental health.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, or needs emotional support we urge you to head to for crisis support options. To speak with someone immediately, contact your local 24-hour support service.