More men in the UK have killed themselves in the past year than all British soldiers fighting in all wars since 1945, according to a new edition of Newsweek magazine dedicated to the issue of male suicide.
According to Newsweek “Across Europe, men are around four times more likely to die by suicide than women” and suicide kills “three times more people than road accidents, more than leukaemia, more than all infectious and parasitic diseases combined.”
“More than 6,000 people in the UK died by suicide in 2013; 78% of them were men.”
Failure of services
In addition to a stark and detailed breakdown of the figures, the magazine outlines the failure of UK authorities to address the crisis.
The magazine reports, “In 2002, following the release of a report, The Sadness of Young Men, detailing Scotland’s disproportionately high male suicide rate, the Scottish government announced its intention to reduce suicide by 20% in the space of 10 years. When 2013 came around, rates were down by 19%.”
In London in November last year, a community-based mental health facility considered a lifeline to its members, was threatened with closure in a cost-cutting drive by the local council.
'Provide and protect'
In early January, with the council’s decision still pending, one of its male members threw himself under a train, the magazine reports.
Newsweek quotes a number of the leading figures in the UK movement to address men’s mental health, including Jane Powell of the Campaign Against Living Miserably and Dr Martin Seager of Men’s Minds Matter.
Seager told the magazine that there is a danger in approaches to tackling men’s mental health that tells them they should me more like women.
He told Newsweek: “The way I look at it, if men have evolved as fathers, protectors and survivors, they are going to feel life is worth living to the extent they can provide and protect.”
Image credit: Newsweek
Article by Dan Bell