Suicide rates: can you get the men in your life talking?
22 April 2015
Seven years ago I wrote on the men’s page for Therapy-space Cambridge that ‘thankfully, (with the exception of 2008) in the UK male suicide rates have been falling since 1998’. However, the latest figures released in 2015 by the Office for National Statistics make for sobering reading, given it reports that the number of suicides in the UK has once again risen and the rate for males is the highest it has been for 14 years.
Since I wrote that previous men’s page, male suicide rates have increased significantly, while female rates have stayed relatively constant and have remained lower than those for men.
Looking at past statistics shows that rates for male suicide in 1981 stood at 63% of the total UK rate, but in 2013 the figure had risen to 78%. The increase in the male figure has been a steady one by comparison to female rates.
If you are a male, aged between 30 and 74 but particularly if you are between 45 and 59, then it’s time to start talking because suicide rates in your age group are the highest in the UK. If you are the partner of a man who is depressed, now would be a good time to get him to realise that there’s no stigma in asking for help. Whether it’s talking online or on the telephone to the Samaritans, visiting the family GP or booking a session with a therapist (face to face or via Skype), let’s get men talking: it might just save a life.