Men's Suicide Awareness Month

November is Men's Health Awareness Month. The reason behind this month is to raise awareness of various men's health concerns. These health issues range from testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and the health concern we'll be focusing on today - suicide prevention.

Though this month is dedicated to supporting men's health, one issue that heavily impacts men is depression and suicide. This mental health problem is enormous among men. Therefore, we'll be dedicating this post to providing more insides into men's suicide awareness month so you can better understand why it must be recognised.

Why is Men's Suicide Awareness Month Important

Approximately 6,000 individuals commit suicide in the United Kingdom each year. Men account for around three-quarters of all suicides, even though women are more likely to try suicide or be identified with a mental health disorder such as depression.

Suicide is a complex and delicate matter, with several combined variables leading someone to take such severe action. It's a mistake to generalise across situations, yet concerns remain about why males commit suicide at such a high rate. We examine some important statistics and studies to investigate the reasons behind the suicide gender imbalance.

· In the United Kingdom in 2020, 4,639 males committed suicide

· Men commit suicide at a rate that's more than three times higher than women

· Men aged 45-64 had the highest suicide rate of any age group (20 per 100,000)

· Men account for 74% of all suicides in the United Kingdom

· Suicide is the second leading cause of mortality among young men (1-19 years old)

Because of these worrying figures, we must raise awareness for men's mental health in November. With more people contributing to this, we can normalise men speaking about their problems and get more of them struggling with mental health problems to seek help.

Why do more men die from suicide?

Now you know more about why we speak about men's suicide awareness month, let's express the issue further. What many people can't comprehend are the reasons why more men die from suicide. To gain a better visualisation of the "why", see below:

1. Communication

In general, women are more expressive about mental health, being able to share their experiences with others rather than absorbing their emotions. Many mental health surveys back this. Despite suffering from typical symptoms such as anxiety, stress, or depression, 40% of men have never spoken to anybody about their mental health. When asked why men don't discuss this, the following were the most frequently mentioned reasons:

· I'm too embarrassed (29%)

· I've learned to deal with it (40%)

· I don't wish to be a burden to anyone (36%)

· There's a negative stigma around this type of thing (20%)

Because males are less prone to speak up about mental health issues, they're less likely to receive the help they require when needed.

2. Financial pressures

Many of the causes described throughout this post contribute to making males more prone to suicide when stresses in their lives are very high. According to a Priory poll of 1,000 men, job demands (32%) and financial constraints (31%) are the two most significant factors influencing men's mental health.

Men often regard themselves as failures if they cannot provide for their families. Suicide rates also rise during economic downturns. According to the BBC, this puts males in greater danger if they lose their job during a recession.

3. Roles in society

For years, males have been urged to "man up." They're expected to be tough, and any admission that you're not okay is viewed as a sign of weakness. While women are frequently labelled as "emotional," men are discouraged from speaking up. It originates from our childhoods when we were taught that boys don't grieve.

Because of these gender norms, many men are unwilling to share their genuine feelings or seek professional assistance and therapy when struggling.

How can someone improve their mental health

Men's health month can help men speak about their mental health issues. However, apart from only raising awareness, we can make a difference. When we know how to guide somebody to improve their mental health, we can encourage them to get better.

Surprisingly, helping somebody with mental health issues is much easier than you might think. Here are some recommendations that'll help:

· Spot the signs now, not later - The first step is to spot the signs now, as you can devise a plan to improve mental health. Seeing somebody feeling sad continuously, having huge mood swings, or not being socially active suggests poor mental health.

· Learn to understand and manage feelings - It frequently helps to pay attention to our emotions without condemning them or telling ourselves we're foolish or weak for feeling this way. It may seem strange and uncomfortable to do this. But practice and patience with ourselves will help.

· Talk kindly about yourself - Some individuals feel better if they write down their emotions, either in a notebook or on their phone. People should attempt to think positively about themselves in order to decrease negative thoughts and feelings.

· Get closer to nature - Nature can be extremely calming. We have been living around other animals and plants for thousands of years. Some people say nature helps them feel calmer, more hopeful and less alone.

· Seek help and support - Many of us have learnt to ignore our emotions. It can take a lot of guts to tell someone else how we actually feel or what we're struggling with, especially if somebody doesn't generally do that. Just discussing things with someone we trust may be beneficial and relieving.

Raise awareness this November

During men's suicide awareness month this November, raise awareness and let people know you're available for them during hard times. Checking up on your friends and family is always a good practice. Truthfully, you never know who's struggling deep down. Therefore, spread your voice during this month and until the foreseeable, ensuring that people know you're there when they need it.

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