International Men's Day

International Mens Day
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International Mens Day

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According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five. This is the case in many...

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of forty-five. This is the case in many countries worldwide, including the UK, USA, Australia, and Russia. In term of statistics it seems that more women are diagnosed with depression more often than men but that men are more likely to commit suicide.

Clearly there are reasons for this that are particular to men. Gender, cultural conditioning, and adequate role-models are contributing factors. As many women as men may contemplate ending their own lives, but men are more likely to go through with it, and often in violent ways. This says something about the psychology, attitudes, and mental well-being of men in our communities.

From a young age, boys are gendered in a particular way – boys will be boys, they are told, and boys don't cry. With variation, it is a sensibility found in many cultures around the globe. As they grow up men are encouraged to present a strong, unaffected image, that often masks the deep need to communicate what is going on for them emotionally.

It is not to say that women have an easier time than men when it comes to mental health issues, but the data shows that our cultural perspectives and expectations of gender may contribute significantly to an increased suicide rate in men.

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