September is Suicide Prevention Month. With mental health problems soaring since the start of the pandemic, raising awareness is more essential than ever. In countries around the world, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and attempt suicide, but male suicide rates remain several times higher than female, according to the BBC News.
Sermo physicians agree. In a recent poll of 130+ global doctors, almost 45% said they’ve seen an increase in male patients who have had suicidal thoughts, or attempted to take their own lives. In term. Regarding which age group is most affected by mental health/suicide, 69% of physicians said men between the ages of 15 – 47.
When asked what the physicians believe is the biggest cause for mental health issues/attempting suicide among males, here’s what the doctors had to say:
- 38% said financial stress / unemployment
- 31% said social isolation / loneliness
- 9% said conflict with family / divorce
- 7% said physical discomfort / illness
- 7% said bullying / physical / sexual abuse
- 1% said death of a family member
When asked what the doctors believe is most effective in helping prevent suicide among men, here’s how the doctors responded:
- 29% said watching for signs of depression and offering support.
- 25% said making mental health support more available.
- 19% said reducing the stigma of mental health issues.
- 16% said teaching men coping and problem-solving skills.
- 9% said reducing concepts of toxic masculinity.
Here’s more of what Sermo physicians have to say on this topic—in their own words:
There has been an increase in depression in the context of COVID 19.
In this time of pandemic, social distancing has unfortunately increased suicide cases.
In my professional experience, I have seen that men think less about suicide than women but execute it more. That is, almost always when he thinks about it, he does.
It is more difficult for men to cope with economic setbacks and this is related to their role as provider in the home.
Family Medicine, Venezuela
This is a social problem. Prevention exists, but it is a task for politicians, not for psychiatry and psychology.
General Practice, Poland