However, while the male suicide rate is going down, this does not mean that the problem is fixed, as The Pool noted this week – “we need to be vigilant“. Suicide is still the highest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK, which categorically should not be happening when there are brutal illnesses with no cure and the ability to get unhealthy food at every street corner. How is the biggest danger to men themselves, rather than grease covered food, terrorists or cancer? Surely we can do better.
Suicide can happen in a split-second when the demons you are battling win and you feel like there is no other alternative; so, it’s up to all of us to be there for every split-second and help show those considering taking their own life that there are always better options. There is always a way through the difficult times, and we should never underestimate the power of giving someone hope.[/vc_column_text]
Gender stereotypes mean that boys grow into men believing that they should not discuss their feelings in case they seem ‘girly’. ‘Real men’ are tough, play sports, drink beer and any other ridiculous preconception you can think up of. We tell our friends, family and coworkers to ‘man up’ but do we think about the damage those two words have? Because subliminally we’re saying: “Be like a real man and don’t show emotion. Bottle your feelings up. Weakness is wrong.”. This toxic masculinity needs to be stopped, and the drop in male suicides shows us that maybe the resistance is finally starting to win. (Cue mental images of Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill leading a team of soldiers to the headquarters of toxic masculinity. Which is probably a bunker on an island somewhere. Led by someone who looks like Jabba.)[/vc_column_text]