September 10 is Suicide Prevention Day.
One person to speak out about the matter is singer UK singer Jack Garratt, who recently took to social media to encourage men to seek help and talk to others if they’re struggling with their mental health.
While everyone can be vulnerable to distressing thoughts and feelings, suicide rates are much higher for men than women.
This isn’t just in the UK, it’s an issue in other countries like the United States, too.Men’s Minds Matter, last year wasn’t the first time male rates dominated suicide figures. In 2014, men in the UK made up 76% of suicides.According to
“Tell the men in your life you love them. Men have been conditioned into thinking that talking about or even acknowledging their mental health is ‘unmanly’, or a weight that they don’t want to burden their friends and family with. This is nonsense and obviously bullsh*t,” Jack wrote on Twitter.
“…one of the most hurtful parts to my depression is that I don’t believe it’s my place, as a man, to talk about it with others. So I don’t. I convince myself that my silence is a signal of my strength. But silence isn’t strength, it’s just the sound of empty time passing.
Jack finished the thread of tweets encouraging others to speak out if they’re struggling themselves, or if they know someone who is. Following his candid tweets, the singer largely received a positive response from friends and followers.
Another person who has struggled with mental health is John, a mental health advocate. He saw his mental health declined after being in an abusive relationship and has since tried to take their own life several times. After years of struggling, he now sees the brighter side of life.
“I explained to my ex-partner that I felt I couldn’t do anything right, that she constantly put me down, she constantly make my life a living hell, I can’t cope with this.
I felt trapped and suffocated with nobody to turn too – she made me so scared of talking to anyone, not even my friends and family knew what was going on,” John said in a UNILAD report.
While John can still struggle with poor mental health, he has seen it improve since removing negative people in his life and found purpose in being a mental health advocate.
“My life is brighter because I moved away from negative and toxic people who just brought me down, when you feel worthless or your self worth is low, you are vulnerable to attract toxic people who will make your life dark and gloomy.
Since moving away from negativity, my life has got more positive and I never had a purpose in my life,” he said,
“Having a purpose, serving the people really helps me, it gives me focus and when I was in a dark hole my life felt like ‘what’s the point in being here’, and looking back I’m so glad I never died every time I tried to commit suicide.”
Men between the ages of 45 and 49 pose the highest risk of suicide. 2019 saw an increase in suicide rates of those aged between 25 and 44, the age bracket both Jack and John are in. Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland has described the recent statistics given by the Office of Nation Statistics (ONS) as ‘worrying’.
With the current pandemic, ONS cannot give accurate statistics on this year’s suicide rates so far as the ongoing health crisis has seen a delay in coroners registering deaths. It’s almost inevitable that the pandemic will have had an effect on people’s mental health.
“Men aged 45 to 49 years continues to have the highest age-specific suicide rate with 25.5 deaths per 100,000 men. This could be because this group is more likely to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism, and isolation. It could also be that this group is less inclined to seek help,” ONS added.