Study identifies men’s suicide risks

Study identifies men’s suicide risks

New research conducted by anxiety and depression support group beyondblue also found the role families and friends of these men can play in stopping their downward spiral.

About five men a day commit suicide in Australia. That is almost double the number who die in road accidents. Perth has the highest suicide rate of any capital city, including a number of fly-in fly-out workers who have taken their own lives in the past two years.

WA also trails the Northern Territory in the suicide rate per 100,000 people. Men are also three times more likely to die by suicide than women.

The Men’s Experiences with Suicidal Behaviour and Depression Project found the four elements common among suicidal men are: stoic beliefs about masculinity, depressed or disrupted mood, the presence of things that are stressful for the man and a tendency to isolate themselves socially and use ways of coping that avoid the relevant issues and prolong or worsen them.

beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said the research showed suicidal distress could be observed and identified.

‘These factors interact and lead men to think they are a burden and imposing on others and ‘unmanly’ if they seek help from family and friends ” when usually, nothing could be further from the truth,’ she said.

The research was based on face-to-face interviews and online surveys with more than 200 men across Australia who had recently attempted suicide, and 165 friends and families of men who had attempted suicide.

Almost 90 per cent of the men said support from someone they trusted and respected was important in interrupting a suicide attempt, making it the most highly-rated factor.

Having someone listen with an open mind, rather than simply saying that everything will be OK, was second at about 80 per cent.

n If you think you or someone you care about may be suicidal, call beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or visit beyondblue.org.au