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Men’s Suicide: The Hidden Crisis

Men's Suicide: The Hidden Crisis
need help? call Life Line  13 11 14

Men’s Suicide: The Hidden Crisis

On average 7 men a day die to suicide and another 48,750 men attempt suicide a day and the numbers haven’t been reducing instead the problem continues to spiral out of control with the latest Census data indicating the hidden crisis no one want’s to talk about.

Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death overall but it is the youngest killer with the median age of death by suicide being 44.8 years whilst all other causes of death came in at 82 years. The facts don’t get any better the deeper we dig with suicide in young men being the most common cause of death.

Suicide is a global issue that affects people of all genders, ages, and cultures. However, regardless where you look men are particularly at risk, with statistics showing that they are three to four times more likely to die by suicide than women. Despite this staggering fact, the issue of men’s suicide often goes unnoticed and unsupported. So I decided to do a bit of digging to see what we could find, we’ll explore the top reasons for men’s suicide and how men are not supported in mental health.

Reasons for Men’s Suicide

  1. Financial and Work-related Issues: Money and work problems can also contribute to men’s suicide. The pressure to provide for their families and maintain financial stability can be overwhelming, and job loss or financial difficulties can cause significant stress and depression.
  2. Relationship Problems: Relationship problems, including divorce, breakups, and separation, are another common factor in men’s suicide. The loss of a relationship can be devastating and can trigger feelings of abandonment and hopelessness.

Lack of Support for Men in Mental Health

Is it safe to open the can of worms? Why not, but gently… Despite there being a common belief that “Stigma” plays a part suggesting men don’t want to look weak this is not the case. In fact it is well known and generally agreed that general practices are “female oriented”. This issue extends beyond general practitioners to all forms of support services.

While there is a misbelief that men don’t visit clinics for health check ups this is where we can start to see the system fail men. Published by the Australian Government; Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 8 in 10 men visited a GP in the past 12 months with 1 in 10 men not being able to access health care when needed, 1 in 40 delayed their visits due to financial barriers and 1 in 20 experienced financial barriers in accessing prescription medication.

The “stigma” excuse goes out the window with the next stat indicating that 1 in 5 men spoke to their GP about their emotional and psychological health with the biggest age group doing so being 45 years and over, the high risk age.

Men's Suicide: The Hidden Crisis
we’re failing me

Where are we failing men?

The current data does not stack up to the current belief that men don’t visit doctors nor does it provide any evidence that we’re not talking about our feelings or well-being. It does however indicate a number of core failures with the first, young men are not a focus for mental health support.

But the biggest barrier that we face in society is that there are limited to no male specific services and the health and community sector continues to be driven with a primary focus on women who’s health services are funded 7.5 times more than men. What’s that look like in numbers? Women $1.1 Billion Vs Men $150 Million.

Not only is this staggering difference in funding leading to poorer health outcomes for men and no doubt contributing to the growth in suicide rates but it also opens the door for alternative forms of self medication and developing life long bad behavior’s. While there is no excuse for domestic violence, there is a probability that the above may lead to an increase in domestic violence.

Which brings us right back to the two leading causes of male suicide, Finances and Relationship break downs. While we have movements that are seeking equality in work, the main brunt of bread winning still falls heavily on the shoulders of men. This not only provides additional stress and pressure on men to be able to provide for their families, but also plays a role in relationships.

A 2017 article references the No. 1 cause for relationship breakdowns is due to financial stress.

It’s time we took another look at how we fund men’s services and in doing so, address more than one issue.

If you or someone you know is in need of support please call Life Line on  13 11 14

Men’s Suicide: The Hidden Crisis

As a caring and hands on dad, Simon devotes himself to his family, career and health.

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