Male suicide is often different from female suicide and initiatives to prevent suicide should reflect gender differences, says a new report to be released on Thursday, 10 September, on World Suicide Prevention Day.
Giving Men a Hand: The case for a male suicide prevention strategy is published by the peak body for men’s health, the Australian Men’s Health Forum, and strongly argues for a gender-response to suicide prevention.
As has been widely reported, suicide kills 8 people a day in Australia, six men and two women (ABS 2019). Here are 10 ways male suicide is different from female suicide.
Men account for:
- In 2018, suicide killed 3046 people in Australia. A total of 726 or 24% were women and the remaining 2320 people or 76% were men and boys.
- 81% of suicides linked to relationship separation.
- 83% of suicides linked to financial issues.
- 85% of suicides linked to pending legal matters.
- 86% of suicides linked to recent or pending unemployment.
- 87% of work-related suicides.
- 87% of health lost to alcohol-related suicide.
- 98% of suicides involving firearms.
- 50% of female suicides are more likely to be linked to a mental illness.
- 40% of female suicides are more likely to be linked to a previous suicide attempt.
Giving Men a Hand: The case for a male suicide prevention strategy says most work to prevent suicide ignores the differences between men and women. And most suicide prevention funding is directed at services that are known to be more effective at reaching more women than men.
As the cost of each suicide to the Australian economy has been estimated at $6 million by ConNetica, AMHF says male deaths from suicide in 2018 cost the Australian economy at least $14 billion. “Reducing male suicide to the same level as female suicide would save the economy $9.5 billion a year,” the report says.
Closing the gender suicide gap and reducing male suicide to the same level as female suicide would save the lives of more than 1500 men and boys a year.
FURTHER READING ABOUT MALE SUICIDE IN AUSTRALIA