Male suicide now a national public health emergency? The warning signs have been there for DECADES

Last Updated: November 15, 2015By Tags: ,

This Writer is a member of the most at-risk generation of men.

I don’t have suicidal thoughts myself, but I can honestly say that I know very few of my contemporaries who haven’t.

And yes, there is a lengthening list of those who have taken their own lives.

It occurs to me that the speculation mentioned in this article is more or less correct – that I belong to a generation whose lives have been marked by major workplace and family changes – although I would say these changes began to affect us long before we became adults.

Realistically, this all dates back at least to the oil shocks of the 1970s and the social unrest that marred that decade and brought Margaret Thatcher to 10 Downing Street in 1979.

Her government had a plan to strip away the securities that working people had won over the previous decades, and carried it out ruthlessly. That, I would say, is why my generation’s mental health suffered.

We had been brought up to expect that we should achieve at least as much prosperity as our parents, and then the opportunity was taken away from us, through no fault of our own.

Suddenly, life chances stopped being measured according to ability (to the extent that they ever were) and reverted to being about the ‘old school tie’.

Lots of people weren’t able to weather that storm. Some of us – like myself – saw it coming and have worked very hard to buck the trend. Bloody-mindedness saw me through.

Even in my current circumstances, I know I am among the lucky ones.

Rising suicide rates among men should be treated as a national public health issue on a par with smoking, obesity or pollution, a coalition of charity chiefs and experts has insisted.

A “crisis of masculinity” in which many men fail to seek help even when catastrophic events hit their lives is leading to tragic consequences for thousands of families, they said.

Leading figures in a string of charities including the Samaritans and Rethink Mental Illness have written to a committee of MPs adding their voices to calls for the Commons to make time to debate the issue.

In 2013, the last full year for which figures confirmed by inquests are available, 6,233 people took their own lives – almost eight out of 10 of them men – an overall rise of four per cent in a single year.

The problem is particularly acute among middle aged men which saw the highest suicide rate for 34 years.

It has led to speculation that a generation of men whose adult lives have been marked by major social changes affecting the workplace and family are at a greater risk of suicide.

Source: Male suicide now a national public health emergency, MPs warned – Telegraph#disqus_thread#disqus_thread

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  1. Mr.Angry November 15, 2015 at 8:18 am - Reply

    A very sad but true case for many, I have been at the top, but can say since Cameron took the stand I have been at an extremely low ebb and due to age and and illness, I can’t change anything. Thanks to my wonderful wife I get by day to day.

    I have read of so many cases of despair and suicide over the past five years the overbearing reforms of this government are directly related and it will get worse.

  2. Tony Dean November 15, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

    How many of those suicides are the direct responsibility of the DWP/Jobcentre Plus/Iain Duncan Smith?

  3. Tony Dean November 15, 2015 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Just found this:-

    On Thursday 19 November MPs will take part in a general debate on male suicide and International Men’s Day in Westminster Hall. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following a bid from Philip Davies MP on 27 October.

    • Mike Sivier November 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Philip Davies?
      It’ll probably end up being filibustered by somebody else, out of spite against him.

  4. Nick November 15, 2015 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    the conservatives are indeed the main reason for so much personal destruction not only in the uk but worldwide

    There main strength is one of division and they create insecurity even where they may not be but for many they are a death sentence and even not just now for some you can be sure that a later date most will succumb

    my wife was born with the likes of david cameron kicking around in Eritrea who constantly made life hell for the majority of the poor and ill to a level she had to flee for her life and became a refugee here in the uk in 1979 leaving her family behind to war and famine

    the bottom line is that wherever a tory is involved you can expect persecution and country divisions which in turn lead people to seek alternative lifestyles of death and destruction

    the answer is to get rid of the tory cancer that blights the world with hate for certain groups of it’s people and inequalities and to bring in a more social form of government that caters for all and not the few

    • Helen November 16, 2015 at 2:32 am - Reply

      It would be a lovely thing, to rid the world of Tories. If only it could be achieved.

      • Nick November 16, 2015 at 2:56 pm - Reply

        indeed the seeds of hate and division were sown by mrs thatcher in 1979 and after her reign of 11 years an awful lot of damage was done of which we may never know the full extent

        Tony blair coming to power in 1997 should have been a turning point but he succumbed to the USA for guidance which has always been flawed throughout history bar abraham lincoln and got involved in the middle east

        He should have stayed within the EU framework for guidance and on their stance as a whole and be guided by the UN

        we now have mrs thatcher mark 2 with david cameron his idol and once again we will have to put up with the seeds of hate and division for another 5 years at least

        with so much hate in the uk for groups like the sick and disabled it’s no wonder other countries in the middle east are losing control of their people who are also out to kill innocent people

        we had all this nonsense with the IRA in the seventies and 50 years on there has been no let up in war and division through many parts of the world all caused by authoritarian tory governments out to kill certain groups of their people be it the sick and disabled in the the uk or the middle eastern governments out to kill certain tribal people of their own countries

  5. Helen November 16, 2015 at 2:44 am - Reply

    I too have known many men who have been in this sorry state and even some who have taken their own lives, one in his twenties with three young children and one nineteen year old. They both had their whole lives ahead of them and loving families, however none of their relatives or friends had any suspicion of how far in the depths of despair either of them were regarding employment and finance. If only there was publicity and support available at the time of their demise perhaps both of them would be here now.

  6. Barry Davies November 16, 2015 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    It is not surprising that suicide is on the rise given that due to the subliminal attack on the poorly paid unemployed sick elderly disabled and incapacitated by the tory party withers “for hardworking people” (aka albeit macho frei) mantra along with the middle class online tweeting feeding frenzies created by benefits street, that anyone who isn’t doing well starts to lose faith in themselves and eventually gets to the point of having not enough money to either live on themselves or keep their families resorts to the only available options eft open for them.

  7. amnesiaclinic November 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    It is very sad and I agree things started changing very much for the worse after the 70’s and privatisation of everything that moved. The DWP is responsible for much but there is so much good stuff on the internet to help people help themselves in every way, particularly health and mental health. Then we have to take care of our communities and others around us but we do have to start with ourselves. Just little things like getting out for a walk every day and being in nature. Eating the best food we can afford or much better grow our own and taking part in the very many good community projects happening out there. Being aware of self talk as well and learning to support ourselves and others is so important.

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