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Men’s Health Week 2020: Why Is Suicide Rate Higher in Men? Reasons Why It is Important to Talk About Male Mental Health Stigma and Ways We Can Help

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Men’s mental health issues and stigma go hand in hand in our society where they are always expected to be the stronger one. Their emotional vulnerability is often seen as cowardice because society always expects them to “man up” and “grow some b*lls”. Emotions need channels to be vented out and the men’s mental health stigma can suffocate them. Just yesterday, June 14 we lost a gem to suicide. Talented Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging in his Bandra residence. Although, the reason behind his suicide is not known, coming to point in life where you see suicide as the only option only happens when a lot is burdened inside a person.

Suicidal thought, major mental health issues like depression affect men equally as they do to women but for various reasons, men are unable to express it and the society has a lot to do with. The cultural setting that we have created doesn’t pay enough heed to men go through in our daily lives. The current global data from the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the rate of men committing suicide is higher worldwide than women. It is seen that while women tend to experience suicidal thought more than men, the male population is more likely to die by suicide. Here are some reasons that may act as a contributing factor and ways to deal with them:

Toxic Masculinity

One of the biggest contributing factors for men not being able to express their feelings, even when they are on the verge of committing suicide is toxic masculinity. The way men are raised it reached them to be “strong” and that it is very weak or “womanly” to cry or talk about feelings. Both crying and talking about feeling can help people big time when it comes to having mental health issues.

Stigma

It is important to destigmatise mental health issues faced by men. The stigma around the mental wellness in men causes them to bottle up their feeling which often results in suicidal thoughts or even suicide.

Mental Health Issues

Depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions are real and affect men equally. It is important to recognize that and ask for help.

Lack Of Access To Help

One of the biggest problems that men and women face is the lack of access to help from experts. It is important that the government invests more in creating an infrastructure that can be more accessible for people to reach out for help.

Unemployment

Unemployment in men is seen as another sign of weakness and men themselves being the “bread-winner” of the family, have this compulsive need for “providing” for their family that they often beat themselves to it.

Being Bullied

Men are bullied in a way dangerous ways that leave a scar on their minds for a very long time. A lot of behavioural issues that men face is due to the bullying they have been subject to as kids.

What Can Be Done

  • Communication: Talking to men you know are going through some mental health issues is of prime importance. Get them to vent it all out.
  • Professional Help: It is important that regular mental health check-ups are done, just the way it is done for physical health. Professionals who have the expertise to help you are the best people to look out for.
  • Bear With Them: If you see your loved ones going through issues it is important to be a good listener and bear with them till when it is possible.

In 2017, the suicide rate for men was 3.5 times higher than it was for women. The World Health Organization reports that suicide represents half of all male violent deaths worldwide. Men over the age of 65 are at the greatest risk of suicide.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 15, 2020 01:25 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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