40% of British men have contemplated suicide – study

© Luke MacGregor
Over 40 percent of British men aged 18-45 have contemplated taking their own lives, new research from the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) shows.

The charity said many of the men had not told their family or friends about their suicidal thoughts because they did not want to cause concern.

During 2014, some 4,623 men committed suicide, accounting for 76 percent of the total suicide rate in the UK. The number equates to more than 12 male suicides each day. 

The study was carried out by CALM in conjunction with healthcare brand Lynx. More than 2,000 men aged 18-45 were surveyed as part of Lynx’s Bigger Issues campaign.

CALM says awareness of male suicide and depression must be raised in the UK.

“The results of this research, together with the latest mortality statistics, show that we urgently need to raise the nation’s awareness of this hugely important and under-discussed issue,” CALM Chief Executive Jane Powell said.

“This isn’t an issue which affects ‘other people’ or one that can be solely reasoned to mental health issues, considering suicide is clearly something many men will consider should their life circumstances change,” she added.

She said the reasons men gave for not wanting to talk about suicide reinforced the “norms of what society thinks it is to ‘be a man’ – not to talk about their feelings or make those around them worry.”

Her remarks come as some 200 high profile figures signed an open letter calling for equality between physical and mental health treatment ahead of the government’s spending review.

Former spin-doctor Alastair Campbell, director Danny Boyle, Sunderland FC manager Sam Allardyce and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby signed the letter, along with creative industry figures Bob Geldof and Miranda Hart.

They called on the government to invest more in mental health services.

“We accept, and urge ministers to accept, that this will require additional investment in mental health services,” the letter reads.

“But we are strongly persuaded that sustained investment in mental health services will lead to significant returns for the exchequer, by reducing the burden on the NHS through the improved wellbeing of our citizens, by helping people to stay in, or get back into work, and by helping young people succeed in education.”