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Suicide is ‘biggest killer of men’ in UK

Published time: March 24, 2013 10:02
Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

Three young male suicides occur on average every day in the UK, according to a national British charity. The Campaign Against Living Miserably claims the public are hardly aware that “suicide is the single biggest killer of young men in the UK.”

CALM, which was set up to prevent male suicide in the UK, has informed that in 2011 suicide accounted for the deaths of more young men in England and Wales than road death, murder and HIV/AIDs combined.

The Campaign Against Living Miserably insists that gender is key to tackling the UK’s suicide rate. The statistics speak for themselves.

In 2011 there were 6,045 suicides in people aged 15 and over in the UK, 4,552 male suicides and 1,493 female suicides, according to the Office for National Statistics.

There were 1,242 suicides of men aged 15-35 in the UK in 2011.  This compares to 377 suicides of women aged 15-35 the same year.

The highest suicide rate was meanwhile seen in males aged 30 to 44 (23.5 deaths per 100,000 population in 2011).

According to the official data, the suicide rate in males aged 45 to 59 also increased significantly between 2007 and 2011 (22.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2011).

It’s believed that hundreds of male suicides could be prevented in the UK if men didn’t feel ashamed to ask for help when they desperately need it.

According to the Campaign Against Living Miserably, there is a “cultural barrier” preventing men from seeking professional help. Modern society expects them to be unbreakable and immune to nervous breakdown; failure to be in control of things 24/7 is seen as an embarrassing loss of masculinity.  

Research by the University of Liverpool shows the recent recession in the UK has caused about 1,000 additional suicides in England - 846 among men and 155 among women. The analysis showed that increases in male unemployment were associated with about two-fifths of the rises in suicides among men.

A study conducted by the Samaritans charity, aimed at reducing suicide in the UK, has also concluded that “you are far more likely to die by suicide if you are of low socio-economic position and a man,” for many reasons “because of the way society expects men to behave.”

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