The High Rate Of Male Suicide In Britain

In Britain, suicide is the most common form of death for men between the ages of twenty and forty-nine. In 2018, The Office For National Statistics recorded 6,507 suicides. Scotland has the highest rate of suicide in Britain: 16.1 deaths per 100,000 people. Wales has 12.8 deaths per 100,000 people and England has 10.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Suicide is much more common for men than women because males are far less likely to seek help, such as going to a counselor. Many men feel it signifies weakness and failure to ask for help. Also, men are far less likely to talk about their emotions and this eventually leads to a crisis which is not resolved. Women are socialised to express their emotions. Also, they have flexible, coping strategies and can manage complex emotions more effectively than men.

When men experience unemployment, this causes them to develop a feeling of hopelessness and low self-esteem. Unemployment instigates poverty as there is little money to pay the rent/mortgage and bills. Life without a job, money and being unable to provide for the family make men feel they have no role in society and therefore no need to remain alive. This was exacerbated by the decimation of male dominated work, such as coal mining, when Thatcher was Prime Minister.

From the 1980s, there emerged many service industry jobs suited for women such as in customer services and hospitality; men felt undermined by this. Also, some women earned more than men so males felt that financially, they were defunct.

In child custody cases, children automatically reside with the mother unless she is incapable of raising them owing to physical or mental ill health. When this occurs, many fathers lose access to see their children; this instigates sorrow and a wish to commit suicide. Also, the disintegration of relationships, especially a long-term one which led to the birth of children, causes men to commit suicide because that strong bond with a partner no longer exists. Men can develop a feeling of loneliness when this occurs so this reinforces their wish to end their life.

Men need to be educated to ask for help and to not feel a failure for doing so. Also, boys need to be told by their parents that it is fine for them to show their emotions; when they become men, they will not let their feelings overwhelm them to the point that they want to commit suicide. Such changes will prevent men from feeling that the only solution to a dilemma is the termination of their life.