8 people suicide every day in Australia - 6 of these are men.
You might have heard it in the media - 'a mental health crisis, an epidemic' - yet sadly this is no exaggeration or media hype. Suicide is the biggest killer of boys and men aged 15-44 in Australia. It claims more lives than the national road toll, yet it's something we hear or talk little about. The first question is why? Why do so many males resort to ending their own lives? We live in the lucky country, 'the worlds most liveable city'.
Yet more men each year are taking their lives.
Men suicide for a range of different reasons including:
- Stressful life events
- Mental illness
- Physical illness
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Poor living circumstances
- Relationship breakdown
Few men reach out for support when they need it. Men are told from a young age that 'boys don't cry' and to 'man up'. This ingrained Aussie male culture does men no favours when they start to experience emotional or mental health challenges. This stigma prevents many from reaching out or even telling their loved one's they're struggling. They often don't want to burden those around them and suffer in silence instead.
We need to change the conversation about what it means to be a 'man'.
We need to start talking about seeking support as a courageous thing to do.
We need to know the warning signs to look out for.
Aside from the usual signs of depression (low mood, agitation, lack of interest in usual activities, feelings of hopelessness/sadness etc), 'male specific warning signs' also often include increased aggression, avoidance and substance abuse.
If you're concerned that someone in your life may be struggling, let them know they're not alone and that you're there for them. Encourage them to seek support, seek support for yourself and provide them with resources.
If you're reading this and think you may be experiencing mental health issues, don't suffer in silence. Speak to a loved one, book in to see a psychologist or tell your doctor.
Do something, don't just leave it and try to fix things yourself.
"It’s okay to not have your shit together. It’s okay to feel depressed. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be anxious. It’s okay to be scared. These are perfectly normal feelings that every man experiences. And it’s okay to talk about it.
What’s not okay is suffering in silence. " - Mens Health
See below links for further information.