Decline in male suicide rates since 1980
In the UK alone in 2017 5,821 people committed suicide and 4,382 of those deaths were male. Since records can show there have been more male deaths to female, the highest rate being in 1988 and has slowly decreased over the years- this year being the lowest rating since 1981. Although, the correlation for female deaths has stayed pretty consistent. Also, since up until 2005 Norther Ireland had the highest suicide rate in the UK, although since then Scotland’s rates have seen a rise and have stayed pretty consistent since then.
A charity called CALM Project Eighty-Four, gathered stories of 84 male suicides and placed 84 statue figures around South Bank, London to emphasis the 84 lives lost each week. Daughter of Paul Andrew Titley says: “Leading up to his death. He kept up his lovable, happy-go-lucky front.” This is just part of her story and of many others who have said the same thing- MEN DO NOT TALK. This is still a struggle that hasn’t resolved it self since 1981 and contributes to a wide scale of male suicides. It is through how one is perceived through society that drives that person to become more suicidal, as it plays with their emotions and insecurities. The world may be changing, although as people we are not changing- if we become more open minded and changed the way we think the suicide rates would see a further decline.
Furthermore, doctors don’t realize in older men that they are suffering from suicide in fact in an article released for ‘The British Psychological Society’, Dr Funke Baffour says: “Health professionals may be overlooking the signs of depression. Thus focusing on other problems such as heart disease, which can cause depressive symptoms, as well as medications that can have depressive side effects.” This explains why the highest male suicides reside in men aged 45-49, as this is the age in which men suffer many health issues and could be a reason for health professionals not realizing it is depression. Adding to the above, men have a tendency to not express their emotion like women, in fact a lot of the time it is quite well hidden and thus why a lot of the time no one is able to pick it up.
The evolve of society, how publicly mental health is now talked about and how many well sought out organizations there are now plays a huge role in why there has been a decline in mental health since 1980. This source of help was not there 38 years ago, men didn’t have a place to vent, a place they could just call and be heard without being judged. There is now help offered to those who suffer with mental health, medication that can be prescribed and centers that they can be referred to. This is why ‘CALM Project 84’ is encouraging men who are suffering to seek help, talk to someone and prevent them from taking their own life before its too late. As, a community if we work together to raise more and more awareness we can help bring those death rates down.