Male mental health and Suicide

This blog is written by our clinicians and aims to keep patients informed with up to date information on medical conditions. The editor of the blog is Dr Cristina Romete.


No-one is born wanting to die1. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental health issues remains prohibitively real for men – and ‘young’ men in particular.

The figures:

Time for some hard-hitting stats:

  • Despite the highest rates of suicide occurring in the over 65’s, suicide is the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK.
  • Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than women
  • In 2017 in the UK, 4383 men killed themselves (that’s 84 per week!)
  • According to the Office for National Statistics the figure is thankfully at its lowest since records started being collected in 1981
  • The WHO estimates 1 million people per year die worldwide from suicide

 

The signs:

Suicide is complex. It rarely happens without some form of warning signs, and most often occurs gradually; progressing from thoughts of self-harm, to actively making plans, to attempting it, to finally dying from suicide. Be wary of:

  • Finding it hard to cope with everyday things.
  • Not wanting to talk to or be with people.
  • Not wishing to do things you usually enjoy.
  • Feeling restless and agitated, and/ or tearful.
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with feelings

 

The next step:

Maybe no-one has ever told you that it’s okay before. That it’s common to feel this way. That you are never alone, and that these feelings may not last forever. Identifying trigger situations and being able to avoid or better manage them is a great next step. And realising that there are lots of things you can do to help yourself may have not even been on your horizon.

If you’ve stopped doing things you usually love, you’re tearful, not eating or sleeping properly, drifting from people close to you, taking alcohol or drugs to cope or self-harming, then talk to someone you trust, and if you can’t then consider talking to someone who can help – like the Samaritans2 or a trained health professional.

 

The future:

How do we reduce the risk of suicide? There is no magic wand, and we all have our place to help:

  • Efforts are increasingly being made across the workplace, healthcare and in the media to help remove the stigma attached to depression and to create awareness of suicide prevention.
  • At grass roots level: Schools, teams and youth groups are gradually doing more to address the concept of “What is masculinity?”
  • Promoting adequate coping mechanisms – In both the young (a great place to begin) and old

 

ROC is always on hand to provide advice, management and support. Get in touch to book an appointment or ask for more details.

 

Refs:

  1. https://www.england.nhs.uk/expo/2018/08/02/tackling-mens-mental-health-is-the-lynchpin-to-suicide-prevention-poorna-bell/
  2. https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/what-speak-us-about/signs-you-may-be-struggling-copeg

One thought on “Male mental health and Suicide

  1. This is very helpful. Ending the stigma is critical. Do you have a waiting list for your psychological services?

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