Policymakers must address high male suicide rates

It’s pretty tough to find good news in suicide statistics, but today’s figures for 2013 are particularly grim reading. The number of suicides increased from 2012, and the male suicide rate is now at its highest since 2001. The male rate of suicide has increased significantly since 2007, where it stood at 16.6 deaths per 100,000 population, to 19.0 deaths per 100,000 as the graph below shows:

[datawrapper chart=”http://static.spectator.co.uk/yGG0M/index.html”]

It used to be the case that young men were the most likely to kill themselves, but the highest suicide rate in the UK is now for men aged 45 to 59, at 25.1 deaths per 100,000. This is the highest for that group since 1981.

Is this ‘just one of those things’, or is there something in these figures that policymakers should be adjusting to? In the magazine last year, I argued that the suicide figures for men are just one of a raft of metrics that suggest Britain is suffering from a crisis of masculinity.

There are many, many problems that women face in this country today, but many of the problems that seem to affect men disproportionately are still being shrugged off as one of those things, rather than something that needs urgently addressing. Labour’s Diane Abbott has expressed worries about this, too, arguing that the crisis of masculinity is something that should worry feminists.

The policy response seems rather slow, and although people are gradually becoming more open about mental health, there remains a greater reluctance on the part of men to visit the doctor, not just about psychiatric problems, but also about physical health problems too, which means they are more susceptible to late diagnoses of illnesses that could have been curable earlier. Until we stop thinking this an odd social phenomenon and start viewing it as something that policymakers need to address, we’ll keep coming across grim statistics like those released today.

P.S. Anyone who does need help should contact the Samaritans. Here’s their website and their number is 08457 909090.

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  • We need to understand how average stress works. Then we can understand what creates escapes including suicide. We need to redefine average stress as many layers of mental work created from many past present future experiences circumstances and many weights and values we have developed over time which create different expectations preparation for defense: anything that remains in our minds as layers of unresolved mental work and values which creates very different unresolved mental work from our present environment. We need to use this better definition of average stress and place those layers of mental work inside an upright rectangle representing our full mental energy to think and learn. You can draw in from the bottom up narrowly spaced horizontal lines representing many layers of mental work our minds are dealing that take up real mental energy. The space leftover represents our leftover ability to think learn and length of that space shows our length of reflection time or long-term thinking. This shows just how our individual environments not genetics greatly affect motivation and mental health. As those layers of mental work reach toward the top of the upright rectangle they create psychological suffering from not having the energy they need to accomplish what they need to be successful in society. This also creates a much shorter reflection time. This make very short term escapes such as drug alcohol abuse and suicide more appealing for relief from psychological suffering.

    It is affecting Males more severely due to very differential treatment Males are given from infancy to be strong. This creates many problems for Males which is greatly hurting their ability to compete in society and earn the essentials of self-worth or desire to live. The belief Males should be strong allows aggressive treatment from one year designed to create agitation and fear so they will be prepared to fight and be tough. This is coupled with less kind (very little verbal interaction) and less mental/emotional support for fear of coddling. It is the more aggressive treatment that creates the higher average layers of anger and anxiety. This remains in the mind and take away mental energy needed for academics. This increases and continued by society from parents and society. This differential treatment continues through adulthood, almost fixing many Males onto roads of failure and escape into more short-term areas of enjoyment. Society gives Males love and honor essentials for self-worth only on condition of achievement or status. Males not achieving are given more ridicule and discipline to make them try harder. The belief boys should be strong and false belief in genetics create a mental denial of connection with differential treatment and the lower esteem when it comes to raising boys. There is an emotional cannibalism allowed upon even young Males who appear weak all to make them tough.

    The suicide epidemic is the result of Males being deprived of those essential feelings of self-worth of less love and honor simply for being boys or men. The training they are given from an early age is preventing many from competing in the information age and losing the means to secure income and status to earn love and honor from society. This then creates more interactions with more aggressive treatment which increases their psychological suffering. This psychological suffering wears down their feelings of self-worth to the point of suicide. There is no net provided for Male children and adults all designed to make them tougher even to the point of suicide. All persons given such treatment may escape in many ways given more harsh, less supportive treatment, and less respect over time. I feel we are seeing only Male suicides and not seeing the many harmful escapes many persons are using instead of suicide in the form of drug and alcohol abuse.

    As girls, we are treated much better and enjoy more hope and care from society. We as girls by differential treatment more positive continual mental emotional/social support verbal interaction and care from an early age simply for being girls. This creates the opposite outcome for girls. We enjoy lower muscle tension for better handwriting/motivation; higher social vocabulary; lower average stress for reading/motivation; much more positive, trust/communication with adults, teachers, peers; and much more support for perceived weaknesses. We are reaping a bonanza in the information age. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in that bracket the more amplified the differential treatment from a young age and increased and more differentiated over time. Now with girls and women taking over many areas of society we are enjoying even more lavishing of love and honor while men are still treated to be tough are failing more and given more ridicule and abuse by society and women using our protected freeness of expression and now, even from false feelings of superiority.