Suicide and Men: Risks and Resources for Help

Suicide and Men
Photo: Pixabay

Suicide is a tragedy that impacts all types of people in the United States. While it can impact all different kinds of families, there are some characteristics that can signal those who are most at risk of considering suicide. Those who are having suicidal thoughts need to know that there are resources that can provide help immediately and there are some long-term prevention strategies that can help those at risk transition to a healthier life.

Thoughts of Suicide Should Never Be Ignored

For those who start to have suicidal thoughts, it is critical to reach out for help immediately. It can be difficult to open up to loved ones to talk about what is happening, but Psych Central shares that there are numerous resources available that can help those who are at a crisis point. The free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at all hours of the day, and there are various free crisis chat services and online resources available as well.

If you are the loved one of somebody who is in crisis and seems to be considering suicide, it is essential that you take immediate steps to help them. What you say and do next should be non-judgmental and supportive, with any response geared toward finding ways to help. Mayo Clinic notes that loved ones who are concerned should watch for warning signs such as a preoccupation with death and changes in one’s normal routine. If a person is in crisis, don’t leave them alone and call 911 to get immediate help.

Men Are at Higher Risk of Committing Suicide Than Women

The National Institute of Mental Health explains that while suicide does impact both men and women of all ages and ethnicities, men are more likely than women to die by suicide. Statistics show that women are about three times more likely than men to attempt suicide, but men are four times more likely to die by suicide.

Not only are men more likely to die by suicide than women, but the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention details that those between the ages of 45 and 64 are at the highest risk, with those over 85 years of age coming next. The highest rate of suicide in the U.S. in terms of ethnicity is within the American Indian and Alaska Native populations, with whites coming next. Typically, the Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and black populations have significantly lower rates of suicide.

As for which men tend to be at the highest risk for suicide, Samaritans shares that broken relationships can be big triggers, as can financial and employment issues. Men who have faced issues with depression, addiction, or substance abuse are have an elevated risk of suicide as well. There are other factors that can be in play in many situations, such as having attempted suicide previously, having been impacted by someone else’s suicide, or by having served in the military.

Lifestyle Changes Can Minimize Suicidal Risk Factors

Those who are having trouble coping with life should reach out to a doctor or mental health professional for help before suicidal thoughts begin. Therapy and medication can often be quite useful in managing depression and other risk factors, and there are other lifestyle changes that can be beneficial too. Care 2 notes that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and quality sleep are all key to improving one’s mental health and thus reducing suicide risks. Expanding one’s social network by volunteering, finding support groups, or pursuing new hobbies can also be beneficial.

While suicide does impact people both men and women of every age and ethnicity, men tend to be at higher risk of committing suicide. This is especially true if they are facing relationship issues, job or financial challenges, or have dealt with depression or substance abuse. If one is having suicidal thoughts, it is imperative that help be sought immediately, and in the long-term, moderate lifestyle changes can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of suicide.

Author: Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott has experienced anxiety and depression since she was a teenager. She offers a forum where those living with anxiety and depression can discuss their experiences.

Leave a Reply