This blog will examine the issue of male suicide. It will compare male vs female suicide rates and also discuss the issue of male depression and the link to suicide. We ask why suicide rates among men are so high, and what can be done about these distressing statistics.

Why Are Male Suicide Rates so
High?

Suicide figures have been growing, with male suicide rates increasing at an alarming rate. In the UK, 84 British men take their lives every week by suicide. In Ireland there is more than one male suicide per day. Three quarters of all suicides in the UK are male. The question of why the suicide rates among men are so high needs addressing first. There is an age demographic. Statistics in the UK show that the suicide rate in men is highest in the 45 to 49 years age range. Regardless of the age, there needs to be much more awareness and action taken to combat the levels of male suicide. The scary statistics show that, while women are three times more likely to attempt suicide, men are three times more likely to die from suicide.

Is Male Depression and Suicide Linked?

It stands to reason that the majority of men that commit suicide were suffering from some form of depression beforehand. This depression could stem from physical or sexual abuse during childhood, loss of income or employment, a relationship breakdown or from substance abuse. The key is to reach these individuals when they first start displaying signs of suicidal thoughts or actions. Those who have attempted suicide often liken it to having tunnel vision. They cannot see beyond their desire to kill themselves and think that the only relief and solution to their present problems or situation is suicide.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Male Suicide?

The most effective measure when attempting to deal with this epidemic is to make it a gendered issue. If three quarters of all suicides are male, then there needs to be a system of care and counselling that is tailored specifically towards men and their mental health and wellbeing. Men-only group therapy sessions as well as male-only drop in centres could provide positive resources that could help tackle this epidemic. This isn’t sexism or exclusion of women’s mental health or women’s issues. On the contrary, providing men-only facilities and care would enable appropriate agencies to focus on the devastating issue of male suicide which would benefit society as a whole.