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.
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: