top of page

115: True Man Podcast- Mike Van Pelt (Full Transcript)

Jey (00:15.036)

Alright guys settle down settle down happy to be with you guys for another episode of the young dad podcast I'm your host Jay. I'm super excited to be with you guys as I am every single week that we do the show Welcome in I'm joined today by my pal Mike van Pelt. No, not the guy off Sports Center But don't worry I was confused at first too my gosh is that sound like Van Pelt Sports Center what?

It's not I wasn't disappointed at all because my Mike is way cooler Mike's a men's life coach He also hosts a podcast called the Truman podcast a little bit about it is he as a men's life coach His mission is to guide Christian men and embracing vulnerability and authenticity in health wealth and relationships Mike you encourage them to act courageously enabling the elimination of their false selves and the restoration of their true identities you work

Mike Van Pelt (00:46.101)


Jey (01:10.072)

You achieve this with your platform such as your podcast, workshop, books, and group coaching. Ultimately, you aim to empower men with the insights and resources necessary for leading fulfilling lives rooted in faith, excellence, and purpose, guiding them on the journey to becoming a good man, a better man, and a true man now. You are also a father. Your oldest just turned 21 and you also have an 18 year old daughter. And

you are a stay-at-home dad for a period of time and yeah I'm not sure if uh kind of what else your home and your life looks like so feel free to take it away and introduce yourself and tell us a little bit more about the true man himself.

Mike Van Pelt (01:54.047)

Yeah, Jay, thanks for the introduction. You know, the funny thing about Scott van Pelt is I'm commonly ask. If I'm related to Scott van Pelt and my standard answer is this. I don't know that you picked up on this. So here you ready for this one? So Scott van Pelt refers to himself as S V P. Now my name's Mike van Pelt. So I get to refer to myself as MVP.

Jey (02:10.044)

I'm ready.

Jey (02:15.573)


Jey (02:21.373)


Mike Van Pelt (02:21.823)

And so, so when I tell people is this Scott only wishes he was me. Cause he's just an SVP. I'm the MVP. How about that?

Mediaboard_sounds (02:34.176)


I love that.

Mike Van Pelt (02:38.235)

Yeah. So, so a little bit about me. We, my family, we live in just outside of Atlanta, Georgia and Kennesaw beautiful Kennesaw Marietta area just down the street from Kennesaw National Battlefield. If you're into civil war stuff. And so I get to drive through that quite often. It's pretty cool. My wife and I have been married for 27 years.

years now. And yeah, as you mentioned, you know, we have to, I'm getting old, man. I got a 21 year old in college and my daughter is a freshman in college chasing her dream, getting a bachelor of fine arts degree, chasing her dream to go to Broadway someday. So yeah, it's,

Jey (03:06.044)

That's awesome, congratulations.

Jey (03:13.104)


Jey (03:30.972)


Mike Van Pelt (03:34.199)

family and our dog, Barkley. I don't want to leave him out because he's always up here in my office on a daily basis listening to me do my thing. So that's what my family looks like and of course my daily, on a daily basis. I'm in my coaching world, True Man Life Coaching, and we created the podcast because...

Jey (03:46.972)


Mike Van Pelt (04:01.859)

Quite honestly, I wanted to be able to communicate with guys about what was going on in the world and help them be better dads and better fathers and better men. And you know, the world these days wants to paint this picture of, you know, we often hear these really silly terms like toxic masculinity and that men are bad. Men are bad. And in fact, we're better when we're together and learning from each other. And so I wanted to put a podcast together where we could...

bring that value to men as a part of the coaching I do. So then I've got a couple of side businesses that have really rolled out of podcasting amazingly enough. It's funny how the whole podcasting thing became such a part of my story. So man, that's what my day to day is, hanging out here in true man world headquarters.

Jey (04:55.412)

I love that man. No, that's incredible. It takes men like you who have been through the life of being a dad, who are wanting to give back to other dads and other men and bring us together. And it's so important for us that do have these platforms, no matter how big or how small, to be able to make an impact. Because there's what? Seven billion people in the world, right? And half of them at least are men.

Mike Van Pelt (05:05.855)

Yeah, that's cool.

Mike Van Pelt (05:20.334)


Jey (05:24.152)

And half of those men are probably dads. And so you're thinking just billions of men, billions of dads, it's at the billions point. There's billions of dads worldwide that, and we're all in the same boat, we're all feeling the same things. I mean, just in our country here in America, there's millions in the greater Atlanta area, you probably have millions of people. I live in Washington and there's millions of people here. And so there's...

these astronomical numbers of dads, yet there's an astronomical number of podcasts out there too. But as you know, with podcasts, 90% failed after 10 episodes, and then after that, after 15, 20, 25, once you get past 25, you're in the top like 0.1% in the world or something, just based on length alone. So something crazy like that. But it's so important to...

take our platform so seriously and to make sure that they are a valuable asset because it is about bringing men together to help create that community, create and foster development, create and foster community, friendship, love, acceptance because the narrative at least in our country is hate men. It's just hate men. It doesn't matter what color, doesn't matter what. Well, except if they're...

The only men that aren't hated, at least I feel, and this... No, I'm not gonna say that, that could get me cancelled. Um... I'm not gonna say that, that could get me cancelled. Um, but it's pretty much like, hate men, except for outside of like, one category of men. Um... But... You know, it's...

Mike Van Pelt (06:58.863)


Mike Van Pelt (07:10.343)

Here's the thing. Yeah, this is how I look at it. So.

Jey (07:10.436)

That's a narrative.

Mike Van Pelt (07:16.671)

Men as men, we are the masters of bearing what we're feeling. So, you know, the stuff that happens to us, we just stuff it down deep inside. And we hope that we never have to deal with it. Now, ultimately, we always have to deal with it. And where it typically shows up is in our relationships. You know, why do our relationships fail? Now, I'll touch on that. But what I want to say about what you're saying is that in this country,

Uh, there is a loneliness and, uh, there's a loneliness problem. In fact, the surgeon general of the United States, former surgeon general has an 83 page report out on the surgeon general's website that talks about. Um, loneliness in this country and they are now calling it an epidemic, an epidemic.

Uh, in proportion to, you know, the same as a, the drug problem that's going on in this country or whatever. And men are, are really bad about this. The statistics for men and loneliness is really bad. And you know, I typically say, although, you know, I work with all kinds of men that my typical, uh, guy that I work with is, is probably between 40 and 60.

somewhere in that middle age area. And middle age men in the United States are taking their lives more than any other age bracket. Now, scientists say, well, we don't know why that is. I know why that is. And number one, they don't have healthy relationships and they've probably isolated themselves from people that can help them. And so,

You know, there's a loneliness, there's an isolation, there's a mental health issue going on and they're just not around the people that can help them. Now I am the first one to admit some people don't want to help. I get that. Okay. But overall, you know, I think that there's some mental health challenges going on in this country that could be, should be dealt with. We're not dealing with them. And then the other thing that we need is men.

Mike Van Pelt (09:37.111)

being in community. Okay, it's not weird. It's important. We were built to be in community. And so men learning from each other, is really important because when we get, put ourselves in positions to be isolated, we do really stupid things. Now we do stupid things in groups too, but that's fun.

Jey (09:56.598)

Very true.

Jey (10:00.388)

100% that's more fun. But let me, so I'm glad that you brought all that up. So I'm going to pull up a website here to help kind of illustrate this for the listeners that may be on YouTube or watching the video version of this. I think it's really important to show like we're not just speaking from a place like, oh, well, there's higher in this category. No, let me show you the facts. Let's show the listener the facts for men versus women for suicide because I talk about it all the time on the podcast.

And I think you're 100% right. It is an epidemic. So many dads I talked to, so many men I talked to, so many other podcasters are all feeling the same way. Like this is a big, big problem. So you see here 11th in suicide, leading cause of the U S 48,000 people Americans died by suicide in 2021. There were an estimated 1.7 million suicide attempts. I don't know if there's a city that has a population of 1.7 million. Uh, but.

You could probably think of a pretty significant city with almost 2 million people. All those people attempted to commit suicide. Like that's a lot. The age of justice suicide rate in 2021, 14.04 per 100. So average age about 14. In 2021, men died by suicide 3.9 times more than women. 132 suicides per day.

white males accounted for 69.68 of suicide deaths in 2021. So of that nearly 50,000, 70% is white males. Which who's the most hated person in America?

Mike Van Pelt (11:44.311)


Jey (11:44.584)

It adds up. There's a direct correlation. I'm not saying correlation is causation, but it's causation in this aspect. In 2021 firearms accounted for 54.64 of all suicide deaths. So 25 almost 24 000 people plus Decided to shoot themselves with the firearm. Lethal means

Mike Van Pelt (12:04.503)

Yeah, Jay, and what's important about that statistic that you give out is when we look at men versus women and suicide, women actually try suicide at a higher rate than men do. Men choose lethal means to take care of the business. So in other words, they'll use a firearm and once that's kind of irreversible.

Jey (12:19.536)

they do attempt more correctness.

Jey (12:33.718)

Yeah, true.

Mike Van Pelt (12:35.853)

So, men choose lethal means to kill themselves, typically.

Jey (12:41.404)

True, and I want to go down here to look kind of the age range right here. You look at this, let me see, where it says highest one. 85 and older. Like that's crazy. They're the highest group. Then you have the pink, which is going to be 30, I believe this color looks like it's 35 to 44.

And so you have this 35 plus range, a lot of it being within this 45 plus. So right in that age you're talking about, if you're not looking here on the screen, in 2021 the suicide rates were higher among adults, 25 to 34 with 19.48 per 100,000 and 75 to 84, 19.56 per 100,000 with the rate highest among adults age 85 or older.

Younger groups have consistently lower suicide rates in middle age and older adults. In 2021, adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 had suicide rates of 15.15. And then you look by race and ethnicity. The top one here, look at that, white males, the very top, white males and that's a purple American Indian males. They're topped by a wide margin here.

it's by almost 10% more than the next one, which is going to be, I wanna say African American males. And then you have, again, males, Pacific Islander, Asian Pacific Islander males. And then the female categories are ranked among the lowest here. So it's up there, they're all up there, they're all crazy high. White males, highest 25.23.

American Indian males 24.81 and then I'm jumping around here black African American males 13.89 Pacific Islander males 10.05 males are the top four so that just again shows that it's men taking their own lives granted it is by more lethal means like you mentioned, but again, it's because they feel like they have no other thing left and you look at that age group that 85 plus like

Jey (15:03.98)

I think it goes right along with what you were saying. You know, there's the relationships. The relationships.

Mike Van Pelt (15:09.783)

Well, yeah. So what I would point out is obviously we could look at, gosh, why are men in their eighties, you know, having these problems? Well, the fact of the matter is there's a couple of things going on. One, some guys are going to have health related issues and, you know, maybe there's something else going on there and they decide to end it all, unfortunately. Um, but one of the things that we do not value.

And this really bothers me. One of the things we do not value in our society is our sage adults. So what is a sage? So there are two or three people that have talked about this. John Eldridge, if you ever look at John Eldridge's books, he's most well known for Wild at Heart and his man stuff. And he talks about the stages of manhood.

And so a sage man is considered really 60 or above that silvered hair guy that has the ability to pass on knowledge to, you know, the younger folk. Why is this important?

Somebody that's lived into their 80s has lived an incredible life and has so much knowledge to pass on. I seek out sage men in my life. Why? I want to know what the secrets are. I want the shortcuts and these guys know if there is a shortcut, what it is. They're mature. They're wise.

And they've had the opportunity to slow down in their life and think about things that maybe they had a few regrets and they've also had time to think about their legacy. And so we undervalue these men in our lives and they want to pass this knowledge on. And we should be seeking these guys out. And what happens is a lot of these guys

Mike Van Pelt (17:18.755)

They get to the end of their life and they don't have anybody there or they think they don't have anybody there to pass that knowledge on onto. And so they don't feel valued. And so then you start seeing suicide statistics like we're talking about. But I encourage young men and I still consider myself a young man. I'm leaning towards the sage stage, you know, but.

Jey (17:41.82)


Mike Van Pelt (17:45.379)

I have people that are seeking me out now, which is really cool. And I want to help them in a big way. But I have men in my life that I can't wait to talk to and find out about life with. And so I encourage guys to find that sage man in your life and surround yourself by him. Talk with them. Be curious with them and learn from them.

I think you'll find out that they want to pass on their knowledge as bad as you want it. When I see statistics, older men taking their lives, it's just a shame.

Jey (18:32.5)

100%. I think you're so right. One thing I was really grateful growing up that kind of gave me a different perspective on this. My brother and I both is that we were both raised by grandparents. And so I got a very good opportunity to get to be close to my really close to my grandma and really close to my grandpas before they passed away and whatnot. So I've gotten a chance to be really close to my grandparents. And I'm super grateful for that because I love. I don't mind talking to.

Mike Van Pelt (18:44.751)


Jey (19:02.444)

I guess old people or older adults or however, whatever the mature adults, whatever the person first saying is of it to be in line with being PC or whatever. But I've done a lot of research within my field of psychology on the older adult population and working with them and understanding how their minds work and stuff. And I'm just really grateful that I was...