Suicide has become the biggest killer of young men in Britain, according to a charity.
On average, three young males take their own life in the UK every single day. It’s thought the country’s recession is an underlying factor behind the increase in these types of deaths.
The latest figures show the suicide rate rose significantly in 2011 with 4,552 men taking their own life out of a total of 6,045 people, with males most at risk falling in the 30-44 age bracket.
Putting those statistics in perspective, suicide in this group accounts for more deaths than murder, road accidents and HIV/Aids combined.
‘The reasons for suicide are complex and often very individual,’ said Jane Powell from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
She added: “The economic climate and social factors such as insecurities around work and housing, social isolation and substance misuse are felt particularly strongly in this group.’
The charity thinks hundreds of male suicides could be possibly be prevented if men felt able to ask for help when they really needed it. According to CALM, men often experience a ‘cultural barrier’ when it comes to seeking professional help and feel they should be strong enough to cope on their own.
British professional snowboarder Nelson Pratt, who was a coach to the British snowboarding team, took his own life last summer.
Since the tragedy, his friend Marcus Chapman has joined CALM’s campaign to raise awareness of male suicide, telling Sky News:
“Nelson was popular, healthy, successful and physically very fit. He was an amazing guy, he had it all, he had his life mapped out. He went to his GP last summer when he was feeling down and was given a questionnaire and told to come back in a fortnight if he wasn’t feeling any better. The next day he took his life.”
Chapman went on to talk about the devastating effects Nelson’s suicide had on him and others. “How could someone so outwardly healthy have this happen to them?,” he asks. “Men aren’t very good at telling someone how they’re feeling. By raising awareness we can get people talking.”
CALM is now working with three graffiti artists in east London this weekend for 36 hours to get their message across, their spokeswoman Powell adding:
“It’s hugely important that we raise awareness of male suicide. This is a huge problem now in the UK and the time has come to start talking about it.”