Today is International Men’s Day and the theme for this year is ‘Stop Male Suicide’. Suicide is the highest cause of death in men and this is because men are statistically less likely to discuss mental health issues than women. Society teaches men that to talk about their feelings is acting ‘like a girl’, a phrase that should not have negative connotations in the 21st Century. The enormity of this problem lies with how we teach our children from an early age to deal with problems. Women are taught to express their emotions and men are taught to suppress them. This is something that needs to be changed.
In 2014, CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably) reported that men accounted for 76% of all suicides.
Samaritans posted a report this year on suicide rates from 1984-2014. The statistics are shocking and reveal a dangerous trend in the way society teaches men to deal with mental health. According to the report, 6,122 suicides were registered in the UK in 2014. This accumulated to 16.8% of men per 100,000 people compared to 10.8% of women per 100,000. Despite the overall percentage of male suicide decreasing, it is still the highest killer with suicide claiming 26.5% of deaths amongst 45-49 year-old men. The Samaritans report states that between 2013 and 2014, male suicide rate decreased overall by 5.6% in the UK. England saw the least percentage drop with less than 1%, Wales by 37.6%, Scotland by 17.6%, Northern Ireland by 10.2% and Republic of Ireland by 6.4%. This decrease suggests that we are on the right path but clearly more needs to be done in terms of providing these men with the help that they need.
The Comedy Trust run a ‘Feeling Funny’ course which allows men to discuss mental health issues in a safe environment through the medium of stand-up. The course runs for 6 weeks and concludes with a stand-up performance. The feedback to the course has been overwhelmingly positive and has given men the chance to express themselves in a way that doesn’t seem daunting. Another bonus is that the ‘Feeling Funny’ gives men the opportunity to socialise and make friends with people who may experience the same issues as them. The men who have participated regularly meet up and support the new members by attending the show. This is proof of just how effective the course is.
Contact Charlene for details at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or you can visit our ‘Feeling Funny’ page for more information