“Speak out, Man!”
Globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide. In South Africa, 75% of suicides are men. According to a new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), men in SA are four times more likely to commit suicide than women.
WHO has prioritised suicide prevention as it claims more lives than “malaria, breast cancer, or war and homicide”, and the data paints a worrying picture for SA, especially for men.
The SA Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag), operates the country’s only suicide helpline and has received 145 000 calls to its 22 lines so far in 2019. It has been proven that men have more difficulty handling stress than women, partially because women have better social networks and more friends with whom they can confide.
November is Men’s Health Awareness Month and the Movember Foundation uses the month to bring awareness to and support of those tackling mental health, suicide and cancer.
What can be done? The solutions offered by the Movember movement seem simplistic at face value but could be hitting the nail on the head.
Talk. Ask. Listen. Encourage. Action. Check in.
Conversations matter, resources assist communities to talk about suicide in ways that break down stigma and increase support for those thinking about suicide or are affected by suicide.