New reports have revealed that there is an increase in suicide rates among middle-aged white men specifically. Let’s look at the information and discuss ways in which we can support mental health for men and women of every age. According to a 2014 CDC report, overall suicide rates have increased 24% from 1999 to 2014. For middle-aged men, the statistics are staggering. That same report showed that suicide rates have increased by 43% for men between the ages of 45-64. We often overlook this demographic as being at increased risk for suicide, as the media’s portrayal of suicide often involves young people. It’s vital that we bring awareness to this demographic and create space for increased knowledge of suicide prevention and awareness for all age groups and genders.
What Accounts for This Increase?
While it’s impossible to know the specific cause of this disturbing rise in suicide rates, we can speculate as to some of the destructive thought patterns around men and mental health. Men are often more resistant to getting help for mental health-related concerns than women, potentially due to societal pressures for men to appear “together” or “strong and silent.” Additionally, men’s mental health issues are often overlooked or dismissed, especially if they don’t exhibit obvious signs of mental health. Middle-aged men, in particular, grew up during a time when these pressures were even more omnipresent.
How Can We Increase Awareness?
Oftentimes, we only seek help for mental health issues when our symptoms have become unmanageable. Likewise, it’s easy to overlook people who aren’t exhibiting stereotypical signs of mental illness. It’s important that reframe our ideas around mental health issues, encourage those we love to seek help, and make mental health education an integral part of educational programs and societal awareness. Feeling hopeless, withdrawn, desperate, lonely, or depressed are all symptoms that indicate an increased risk of suicide. However, these painful symptoms present themselves in everyone differently. Let’s get educated about mental health and suicide prevention. It’s time to debunk stereotypes around pain.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon uses cutting-edge techniques in individualized programs to help men achieve freedom from addiction. Taking a holistic, sustainable approach to the inner and outer effects of addiction ensures you or your loved one will emerge with the confidence and skills to manage your addiction independently. No one is beyond help- our Admissions Counselors are available 24/7 at (503) 850-2474