Suicde is something which is pretty familiar in today’s society – be it men or women. However, studies say, men are more suicidal than women. In 2016, the global data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed there were an estimated 793,000 suicide deaths worldwide and most were men.
In the UK, the male suicide rate is low since 1981 – 15.5 deaths per 100,000. But suicide is bigger in men under the age of 45. For UK women, the rate is: 4.9 suicides per 100,000.
In Australia, men are three times more likely to die by suicide, 3.5 times more than in the US and more than four times in Russia and Argentina. WHO’s data also show that nearly 40% of countries have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100,000 men; only 1.5% show high for women.
“As long as we’ve been recording it, we’ve seen this disparity,” says psychologist Jill Harkavy-Friedman who is a vice-president of research for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a health organisation that supports the affected people by suicide.
“We tell boys that ‘boys don’t cry’,” says Colman O’Driscoll, former executive director of operations and development at Lifeline. “We condition boys from a very young age to not express emotion, because to express emotion is to be ‘weak’.”
Men are less likely to admit that they feel bad and also can be more reticent than women regarding to see a doctor.
“Men seek help for mental health less often,” Harkavy-Friedman says. “It’s not that men don’t have the same issues as women – but they’re a little less likely to know they have whatever stresses or mental health conditions that are putting them at greater risk for suicide.”
“There tends to be more substance use and alcohol use among males, which may just reflect the distress they’re feeling – but we know it compounds the issue of suicide,” added Harkavy-Friedman.