Samaritans urges men to talk about their problems

Samaritans has appealed for men to contact them when they are struggling to cope, as data released today shows 50 per cent of those who contact the charity are men.

Samaritans has released this figure to mark Men’s Health Week which runs from 15 to 21 June. The theme of the week this year is ‘Creating Culture Change- it’s time for a new script’.

Samaritans’ research, Men, Suicide and Society* shows that men tend to compare themselves to a masculine “gold standard”. This standard puts pressure on men to be powerful, successful and in control. This contributes to the higher rate of suicide among men and can be a major barrier to men seeking help.

Men in Ireland are four times more likely to die by suicide than women. Figures released by the Central Statistics Office last month show that 459 suicides were recorded in Ireland last year- 368 of those who died were male and 91 were female**. Men aged between 45-48 have the highest rate of suicide in Ireland (29.6 per 100,000 suicides)***.

Catherine Brogan, Executive Director, Samaritans Ireland, said:

“It’s time to challenge the view that being a man means not talking about what’s wrong or asking for help. We know that men can and do talk about their problems when there is a supportive environment for them to do so in. We believe that instead of blaming men for not talking, services need to acknowledge and address the difference in how men and women access support.

While we are pleased to see that such a high percentage of our calls come from men, we want to encourage more men to call us when they are going through a tough time. Male suicide is a big problem in Ireland and it is important that men know that they do not have to struggle alone. We provide a safe space for people to talk without fear of being judged.”

Samaritans has been campaigning for measures to tackle the high rates of male suicide since 2010, when it launched its ‘Men on the Ropes’ campaign, specifically aimed at men. The charity also reaches out to men through its partnership with the GAA and through outreach work in communities at increased risk of suicide.

-ENDS-

For more information, please contact Rachel Wright on 085 860 5554 / 01 6710071 or at r.wright@samaritans.org

Notes to editors:

*Men, Suicide and Society http://www.samaritans.org/about-us/our-research/research-report-men-suicide-and-society

**CSO, 2015, Vital Statistics Summary http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/ep/p-vsys/vitalstatisticsye... . Please note, these deaths are by year of registration and are subject to further revision

***Samaritans Statistics Report http://www.samaritans.org/sites/default/files/kcfinder/branches/branch-96/files/Suicide_statistics_report_2015.pdf

  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them, Please call 116 123 (ROI) or 08457 90 90 90 (UK), email jo@samartians.org or visit www.samaritans.ie to find details of the nearest branch.
  • Men’s Health Week runs from 15-21 June. A full overview of the week can be found here: www.mhfi.org/mhw/mhw-2015.html