Recently there has been a lot of media coverage about the “statistics of suicide rates” of males in the UK, there is not a lot new in the statistics as they like anything else without prevention and an awareness of the services and help available the trends will keep on rising year on year.
- 99% of suicides are preventable in male and female genders
- Suicide was considered a crime and was a punishable offence until not so many decades ago
- Mental Illness has always had stigma attached to it and the male gender especially will not talk freely about their Mental problems, this may occur due to the inherent attitude of showing strength and no weakness, primeval tendencies are still in the genes of the sex today
- A man in the UK will die via suicide every 1.68 hours, that is just over every 100 minutes
Many speak about this issue and premise it as being an easy way out of a position the person has put themselves in, but just think about it for one minute what desperation this person is feeling inside to be driven to the ultimate sacrifice of taking their own life? It is tragic.
WHY IS THE MEDIA AND CHARITIES IN A FRENZY ABOUT THIS STARK REVELATION?
The simple answer is that males are 3.5 times more likely to commit suicide than women, as stated the trend for men is on the rise and the female is not fluctuating a great deal and has significantly decreased since 1981 going by numbers provided by the Office For National Statistics.
Charts and data sourced from the Office For National Statistics with figures up until- 2013 – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_395145.pdf
The table below show the number of deaths and age-standardised suicide rate, by sex, country and region, England and Wales, deaths registered in 2013
The Chart below shows the methods of death used in both sexes for the year of 2013, what is very striking and visible is that men choose more violent ways than women across many years of statistics.
The segment below is taken from an infographic by the Office For National Statistics and shows the section which has been identified as the main age range where suicides occur, if you would like to see the full infographic then here is the link – http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/mortality-statistics–deaths-registered-in-england-and-wales–series-dr-/2012/info-causes-of-death.html
- Poor Mental Health
- The recession
- Work pressure
- Austerity measures and government cuts
- Loss of pride or masculinity
- Ex Forces
- Many, many more – Marriage, Retirement etc
You may ask yourself at this point why a man could be so stupid and susceptible to the underlying reasons of this huge problem faced by the UK and world around us, there is no particular answer apart from talking about the issues we face in this day and age without stigma and bias.
The pressure is on in the workplace as well as for those seeking employment, deadlines and finding a job are stressful enough as it is without pressure being exerted upon us from external sources such as family, managers, peers etc, however, if you do not speak up then the problem will escalate and ultimately make you think of alternative actions to get out of the situation and this may sent do to the tipping point of suicidal thoughts.
LOOKING OUT FOR A DIFFERENCE IN BEHAVIOUR (INTERVENTION)
So now we have seen the facts, the reasons and who can help we will delve into the behaviour often exhibited by person who is preparing to take their lives.
Below are some characteristics shown by people thinking about or planning to take their own lives.
- Change in appearance, this can go either way from looking very unkempt to incredibly dapper.
- Becoming withdrawn from society and family
- Tying up loose business ends
- Making peace with disgruntled acquaintances or family members
- Giving away belongings
- A total change in attitude
- Increased visits to the GP, why? This often occurs in the build up to them making up their mind as they are looking for help but most often do not confide and make up some fictitious complaint instead.
WHAT STEPS OF ACTION SHOULD YOU TAKE TO HELP A SUICIDAL PERSON?
Ensure your own safety
- Do not get physical with the person
- Call for assistance (especially if the person is threatening to jump)
- Keep your distance until help is at the scene
Stay with them
- If you think the intent is of a high risk then stay with them or arrange for someone else to stay with them whilst you call for help to get them through the crisis
Seek help immediately
- Phone their GP if you know who it is and ask for immediate action
- Call the emergency services 999
- If the person agrees then take them to an accident and emergency unit and insure not to further distress the person by keeping calm, if they would prefer to see a GP then do that
- Call a helpline that knows how to deal with the situation in hand (See below for useful numbers)
What if the person is intoxicated or high on drugs?
- Try to discourage then from further consumption
Clear the intended implement if possible
- If they have a rope, gun or any other implements they intend to use then with cooperation ask them if you can move it.
Try to get them talking using the following guidelines
- Listen non judgmentally
- Treat them with respect and be polite at all times
- Don’t deny their feelings, you do not know what they are thinking
- Don’t give advice or promise them anything but reassure them that help is available
WHO CAN HELP?
- The Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90 / http://www.samaritans.org
- C.A.L.L. (Community Advice & Listening Line) – 0800 132 737 / http://www.callhelpline.org.uk
- PAPYRUS (Prevention of Young Suicide) – 0800 068 41 41 / http://www.papyrus-uk.org
- SANE – 0845 767 8000 / http://www.sane.org.uk
- CALM (THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST LIVING MISERABLY) – 0800 58 58 58 / http://www.thecalmzone.net
OTHER USEFUL NUMBERS AND LINKS
- ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills) – http://www.asist.org.uk
- Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide – 0844 561 68 55 / http://www.uk-sobs.org.uk
- Depression Alliance – 0845 123 23 20 – http://www.depressionalliance.org
- MIND – 0300 123 33 93 – http://www.mind.org.uk
- FRANK – 0800 77 66 00 / http://www.talktofrank.com
- CRUSE – 0844 477 94 00 / http://www.cruse.org.uk/