Men & Suicide: Do you know the facts?

1. Statistically speaking, two in every five male friends you know will have thought about suicide at some point. Some 42% of men aged 18-45 have considered taking their life as a way out of their problems.

2. Suicide is the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK. Bigger than drug and alcohol-related deaths, bigger than traffic accidents, and bigger than disease and illness.

3. Last year, there were 4,623 male suicides in the UK. To put that figure in perspective, the number of male deaths caused by road traffic accidents, murder, and HIV/AIDS in 2014 totals 1,631 combined – just over one third of that figure

4. On average, 12 men take their own life every single day. That’s one person every two hours. 

5. But when it comes to suicide, men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. Of the total 6,109 deaths attributed to suicide last year, 76% of those were male. Or to put it another way, three in every four cases. 

6. Since 1981, female suicides have fallen by nearly 40%. What’s clear is that suicide cannot be viewed as a gender-blind problem. 

7. Of those that have considered suicide, 41% have never shared those feelings with anyone. They don’t feel confident talking about it with friends, family, and colleagues because they feel it’s not something a man should need support for, nor something they think is significant enough to burden others with. 

8. In fact, the most common reason for not talking is they simply didn’t want anyone to worry. In a CALM survey, the majority of those who admitted they did consider suicide, didn’t speak about it because they didn’t want anyone to worry, cause a fuss, or simply discuss their feelings. It shows just how inappropriate the idea is felt to be, and the fear of other people’s reactions. 

9. But the idea that men don’t want to talk isn’t exactly true. CALM received over 41,000 calls to its helpline in 2014, 80% of which were men – men of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds. 

10. What IS true is that we’re not talking about it enough. None of us are. Celebrity tweets about vegan meatballs and countless other trivial topics generate more discussion than something that’s killing men every single day. Saying something is safer than saying nothing. Trust your gut, and start the conversation.

If you would like any more information on the support or training that Harmless and The Tomorrow Project can provide, please email us at info@harmless.org.uk.

2 thoughts on “Men & Suicide: Do you know the facts?

  1. My younger brother took his own life in December 2010 and although time has moved on, the pain of losing someone close to suicide remains constant. Too many questions left unanswered, the person who could provide those answers no longer alive.

    • We are so sorry that you have been through this – the biggest problem often faced by people bereaved by suicide is ‘why?’ We are here if you need support.

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