The shocking facts about male suicide

November marks Men’s Health Awareness month – a time meant to draw attention to the mental and physical health challenges facing men, and strip away the stigma that so often clouds such discussions. 

Perhaps no topic is more stigmatised than suicide when it comes to men’s health. Yet, it is precisely this stigma that compels men with suicidal tendencies to suppress their struggles, and sometimes to take the fateful decision to end their own life. 

As difficult as this conversation can be to have, it is an essential one nonetheless.

The shocking fact is male suicide in the UK is now the leading cause of death of men under 45

Source: CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) estimate that 84 men die by suicide in the UK on the average week. That translates to 12 male suicides every day – or one every two hours. 

The most recent figures from the Samaritans, found that 3,852 men committed suicide in England in 2021. That’s a rate of 15.8 suicides per 100,000 men. 

Do more men die by suicide than women?

Source: Samaritans

Compared to the 3,852 men who committed suicide in England in 2021, 1,367 women died by suicide in England in 2021. This translates to a male suicide rate of 15.8 per 100,000, and a female suicide rate of 5.5 per 100,000.

Similar gender divides were recorded in Northern Ireland and Scotland, while an even greater disparity was recorded in Wales – where the male suicide rate was 19.7 per 100,000 people, compared to 5.9 per 100,000 women. 

Does suicide occur more often in particular age groups?

Source: Samaritans

Some age groups record much higher numbers of suicides than others. In the UK, 50-54 year old males record the highest number of suicides. While the biggest increases in male suicide from 2019 to 2021 were recorded among 15-19 year olds and 65-69 year olds.

What are the risks factors for male suicide?

Source: Manchester University (2021)

A Manchester University study released in 2021 looked at 1,516 men between 40-54 years old who had committed suicide within a twelve month period. That study identified numerous risk factors for male suicide.

They found that men who died by suicide were disproportionately likely to live alone, to have recently suffered a bereavement, suffer health conditions and, abuse alcohol.

Is there a connection between poverty and suicide?

Source: ONS (2023), Samaritans (2021)
ResidenceMale suicide rate (per 100k)Percentage living with low income (after housing costs)
North East23.125
North West20.823
Yorkshire Humber18.623
East Mids17.923
West Mids17.127
East Eng13.118
South East1619
South West19.319

In addition to Manchester University’s findings that over half of the men who died by suicide struggled financially, figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and Samaritans show that regions with higher poverty rates record more male suicides per 100,000 people.

Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide can contact the Samaritans at 116 123, or CALM on 0800 58 58 58

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Verified by ExactMetrics