A report from Men’s Health Forum in Ireland and the HSE reported that men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women and the highest risk group is among those aged 45-54.
In 2017, 8 out of 10 people who died by suicide were male. There were 392 suicide deaths in Ireland and 335 (79%) were male according to provisional figures from the Central Statistics Office.
The causes of suicide are complex. There’s no single reason why men take their own lives, but we do know that by improving overall mental health we can reduce the risk of suicide. Men sometimes aren’t comfortable reaching out, or they think it might be a burden for their friends if they talk openly about life’s challenges. Or worse still, they worry that it is a sign if weakness. If a guy you know seems to be going through a tough time, they might not talk about it even if they want to. The first step in looking out for them is reaching out.
How can you help?
You can’t fix someone else’s problems, but you can be there for them. Sometimes listening is the most helpful thing you can do. Before you start a difficult conversation, prepare yourself. Make sure you are in a good state of mind and you have time to listen.
- ASK – Start with what you’ve seen. “You seem a bit stressed these days. Is anything up?”
- LISTEN – Don’t try to diagnose his problems, offer solutions or give advice – just listen.
- ENCOURAGE ACTION – Ask him about the things he used to enjoy, or encourage him to consider talking to others around him. If you think he needs more, encourage him to see a doctor or another professional.
- CHECK IN – Keep in touch with where he’s at and make a plan to catch up. Make sure he knows you’re there.
Get more information on the Movember site here
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