An article in yesterday’s newspaper The Guardian has once again highlighted the ever growing relationship between gender and suicide rates. According to research undertaken by the Office of National Statistics, there were 5981 cases of suicide recorded in 2012, 4590 of which were men. The Guardian article explains
“Suicide is now the main cause of death for men aged 20-34, and while the male suicide rate was 1.9 times higher than women in 1981, it is now 3.3 times higher.”
When asked about the growth in suicide amongst men John Ashton, the president of UK Faculty of Public Health suggests that young men are facing the issue of ‘dislocation’ due to increased levels of unemployment following the rapid de-industrialisation of the UK. It is thought that whilst issues of unemployment face both men and women, the genders are reacting differently to it. Eighty percent of women who commit suicide have seen their GP and received treatment, compared to just 50% of men, and for those under 25, the rate is just 20%.
Combine this with the significant cuts that mental health services are facing, and it’s no wonder that Britain’s men are facing a crisis. Early intervention services and mental health projects for children and young people are disappearing across the country, and nobody appears to be listening to those who area speaking out against it. Earlier this year six mental health organisations warned that cuts to NHS mental health services are endangering lives, however there does not appear to be any change on the horizon.
Funding cuts, stereotypes, stigma and financial insecurity are having catastrophic effects on our communities, and are denying those with mental illnesses the treatment and recognition they deserve. It’s up to charities and organisations like us to step up where others are failing and let those suffering know they are not alone. Will you join us?