Published on 17/07/2012
New research shows that the number of suicides in older men is increasing faster than in any other age group.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics, the number of suicides among men aged over 55 has risen 12 per cent over the past decade.
At the same time, suicides among men aged under 34 dropped by 30 per cent. However, mental health charity CALM says men aged 45 to 54 are still the most likely demographic to seriously consider taking their own life.
The mental health charity is concerned that there are far more male than female suicides across all ages in the UK. In 2010, 4,517 people in England and Wales committed suicide and 75 per cent were men.
Jane Powell, the chief executive of CALM, said the recession is party to blame for the rise in suicides in older men: "If you are middle-aged just now and your job and life prospects are diminishing then this is tough.”
"There is work to show that the impact of unemployment hits men harder, and later on in life.”
Other reasons for the higher rate of male suicide include the perception that needing help is by definition unmanly. Experts also say that many men do not realise that they are depressed until it is too late.
The government planned to launch its suicide prevention strategy last week but postponed the initiative until September. A Department of Health spokesperson said: "The government is taking strong action on suicide prevention.”
“We have been listening to families who have sadly been bereaved following a suicide, and have called upon experts in healthcare, criminal justice and transport to help us put together a new suicide prevention strategy for England to help save lives. We have considered all the responses received, and intend to publish our plans in September."
If you want to be covered for private psychiatric treatment, look for a health insurance policy with full psychiatric cover.
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