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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Men and Suicide

Male suicide: CALM on Department of Heath help for men

"3 times as many men commit suicide as women. Suicide's one of the biggest killers of men. And yet there doesn't seem to be any real effort to target suicide prevention at men. And an organisation that does try to help is complaining that the Department of Health is failing to recognise extent of the problem and put money into helping to solve it. The organisation is the Campaign Against Living Miserably - CALM...

'We don't really see men as needing help in any way, or as being vulnerable unless they've got some additional asset of qualification which means that we should look at them as needing any further assistance...

'When we look at the suicide prevention strategy, although it says and mentions that men are at higher risk than women, it then goes on to look at what are the factors like ethnicity or sexuality or anything else that can bring that kind of added qualification for why we should look at a particular group as needing anything.

And so we have an ad... taking the mick out of a middle aged man attempting suicide. And that was funny because he was, because nobody cares that this was taking the mick out of a guy. There would've been outrage if it was, you know, anybody else. But as a middle aged white man there was nothing for us, for him to be a failure meant that he wasn't a proper man. And I think we are equate manhood with being invulnerable so we can't allocate resources to that area because they're men...

There are ancient rules of masculinity which we're trying to sort of put into words so that we can then test them and measure them but they are basically as Jane's saying, there are rules of masculinity and we've broken them down to three very simple things which add up to a male script. The first is men should be fighters and winners. The second is they should be providers and protectors. And the third is they should retain mastery and control. So obviously when a man's in distress he's trying to retain, these are kind of shame rules in the sense that if you lose control or if you don't, you're not seem to be a winner you have shame and you lose a sense of masculinity and that means you are more likely to sit on those feelings until they go too far and you're more at risk therefore of suicide.'...

'The whole thing about providing for your family, being responsible for your family is deeply embedded in why we see these terrible terrible cases where a man will take his family with him'

'In 104/105 nations that we have statistics for, it isn't just the UK, the male suicide rate is much higher than the female. It isn't a purely cultural thing, it seems to be an embedded evolutionary mind and body issue for men... I myself am involved with the Samaritans and we're doing work on looking at how we can listen to male callers differently and actually listen to the way men communicate in such a way as they don't come up with their feelings straight away. So therefore we have to not perceive a man who is not talking about his feelings as failing to communicate but actually that the fact that a man's even called the Samaritans is a fantastic thing'

This was on podcast as: "Male suicide: DoH 'must remove blind eye'"
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