Six years ago, my brother took my life. He was 28 years old. Tragically, suicide is not as rare as it can be thought of. In 2016, global data for the past year were available from the World Health Organization (WHO), with approximately 793,000 suicide deaths worldwide. Most of them were men.
In the United Kingdom, the suicide rate in men is the lowest since 1981 – 15.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Suicide, however, is still the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. For women in the UK the percentage is one third of men: 4.9 suicides per 100 000.
The same is true in many other countries. Compared to women, men are three times more likely to die from suicide in Australia, 3.5 times more likely in the US and more than four times more likely in Russia and Argentina. WHO data show that nearly 40% of the countries have more than 1
The trend dates back some time. "While we record it, we see this inconsistency," says psychologist Jill Harkney-Friedman, vice president of the American Suicide Prevention Foundation, a healthcare organization that supports suicide victims. Suicide is an extremely sensitive, complex issue with a multitude of reasons – and the very nature of suicide death means we can never fully understand the reasons for it.
However, as awareness of mental health has increased, there is a better public understanding of the potential contributing factors. One of the issues that still exist, however, relates to this gender gap. It seems particularly great, given that women tend to have a higher incidence of depression. In the United States, for example, elderly women in the United States report suicide attempts 1.2 times more often than men. But male suicide methods are often more violent, making them more likely to be completed before someone can intervene. Access to funds is a major contributing factor: for example, in the US, weapons owners of six to ten are men, and firearms account for more than half of suicide.
You may also want to:  Men can also choose these methods because they are more likely to complete the act. A study of more than 4,000 hospital patients who have been self-injured found that men, for example, had higher levels of suicidal intentions than women
Why men struggle – and what can be done about it ? 19659002] Risk factors
One key element is communication. It is too simple to say that women are willing to share their problems, and men tend to share them. But it is true that for many generations many societies have encouraged men to be "strong," not to admit they are fighting. "We tell the boys that boys do not cry," said Coleman Orischer, executive director of Operations and Lifeline, an Australian charity providing a 24-hour crisis and suicide prevention services. "We teach boys from a very early age, not to express emotions because the expression of emotions must be "weak."
Mara Gruway, Executive Director of the Canadian Prevention Center, states that how we talk to our children and how we encourage them to communicate and for themselves "Mothers talk more to their girls than to their boys … and they share and define feelings," she says. "We are almost expecting women to be emotional. But men may be less likely to admit when they feel vulnerable, whether they themselves, friends or a GP. They may also be more reserved than women to visit a doctor. the counseling rate was 32% lower for men than for women. (Depression consultations, judged by whether patients received antidepressant prescriptions, were 8% lower in men than women).
"Men rarely seek mental health help," Harkney, "says Friedman. "It is not that men do not have the same problems as women – but they are unlikely to know they have any stress or mental illness that puts them at greater risk of suicide."
If one is not even aware that they have a condition causing their suffering, then they are less aware that something can be done to help them. Only a third of the people who take their own lives are in mental health care, "says Harkavi-Friedman.
Dangerous, instead of seeking help through established channels, some men may try to get themselves killed.
"There is a tendency to use more substances and alcohol among men, which can simply reflect the suffering feeling – but we know it helps suicide," says Harkavi-Friedman. In fact, men are almost twice as likely as women to meet the criteria for alcohol dependence, but drinking can deepen depression and increase impulsive behavior and alcoholism. known r IS suicidal factor
Other risk factors may be related to family or work. When there is an economic downturn that leads to an increase in unemployment, for example, there is a tendency for a related increase in suicide – usually 18-24 months after the fall. A 2015 study found that for any 1% increase in unemployment, there was an increase in suicide by 0.79%.
To worry more about finances or to try to find work can exacerbate everyone's mental problems. But there are elements of social pressure and identity crisis. "We have grown up all the time to be compared with our peers and be economically successful," said Simon Gunning, Calm, a charity charity dedicated to prevention. there are economic factors that we can not control, it becomes very difficult. "
There may also be a spiral effect. In the US, for example, health insurance is often employment-related. If a person is being treated for depression or drug use, they may lose that care when they lose their jobs.
Another risk factor is the feeling of isolation, as Lekar Thomas Mayner wrote in his book. This can occur in all spheres of life. An externally successful specialist who has prioritized career growth to the detriment of everyone else, including social relationships, may be "at the top of the pyramid, alone," said Grunau.
Of course, it is important to remember that an external factor can cause suicidal behavior in a person who is already at risk, is never the only reason.
"Millions of people lose their jobs, almost all of us have lost contact and we are not dying of suicide.
No clear fixes for this complex. But a number of programs, policies and non-profit organizations are progressing.
In Australia, for example, mental health prevention and suicide groups are trying to change the cultural paradigm. An initiative that has gained strength is RU OK? a day that encourages people to support those struggling with life by starting a conversation. Another approach is the "should-to-shoulder" principle – encouraging men to talk while busy otherwise, such as watching football or cycling. Mates in Construction, a training and support program, raises awareness of the high levels of suicide in the industry, and shows construction workers how they can help to be part of the solution.
In general, there is an emphasis on what makes men speak well
Technology also introduces new opportunities – not everyone can want to get rid of another person, even through a helpline. But artificial intelligence – like chatbots – can allow a vulnerable person to communicate and receive the help they need without fear of judgment.
Another strategy is to focus on the impact that suicide has on relatives. called to represent the 84 men who die weekly through suicide in the UK – highlights the devastation that remains. This can counteract the feeling that some men think is "right" to get out of the equation, "Stellenbos said. Staying is always an option. "
Other solutions are related to simple suicide making it harder to perform.After the barriers were placed on Clifton Bridge in Bristol, England, for example, one study found that deaths by jumping on the bridge has halved – and there is no evidence that suicide jumps from other locations in the area are rising in response
However, obviously more work has to be done
O'Driscol compares how often more attention is paid to reducing mortality While in Australia, for example, the total suicide rate in 2015 is 12.6 per 100,000 – the highest rate for more than a decade – in comparison with the number of suicides, with 4.7 per 100 000 for road fatalities
More research is needed. "Clearly," says Harkavi-Friedman, "there are differences between women and men in our biology, our hormonal structure, and how our minds are developing and functioning. "But men and women often get out ates together and despite attempts to statistically control for differences, it is not enough. She thinks we need to study men and women separately.
But there are positive signs. Kharkivi-Friedman marks a huge change from the professional side, recalling that at the beginning of his career, it was difficult to accept a suicide document because you thought you could not prevent suicide, she says. Now we know this is wrong.
It also points to greater government involvement than ever before. On World Mental Health Day in 2018, the British Government announced its first suicide prevention minister. "The UK has overtaken the game, every step along the way," she said, adding she believed that there had been a drop in the suicide rate in the UK as a national strategy was implemented.
For Grunau, too, the situation is undoubtedly improving. "We see momentum we have never seen," she says. "Actually you can talk about suicide and people still shake, but they are more likely to talk."
This had a positive effect, as a drop in suicide in the UK. However, this is not enough. Every life lost by suicide-be it male or female-is too much life.
If you or someone you know is affected by this story, here are some resources that can help. In the United Kingdom and Ireland:
The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email email@example.com
Campaign against Unfortunate Life (19659040) Spokojnost ) offers support to men. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 17:00 and 00:00 every day or visit their page here . In the United States:
If you are in crisis, please call National Anti-Suicide Plan on 1-800 -273-TALK (8255) or contact TALK to 741741 .
19659045] Night seven days a week.
If you are in crisis, call 1-833-456-4566 (4357) or text 45645. For more information on prevention suicide, visit the Suicide Prevention Center.  Join the 900,000+ future fans as you like Facebook or follow us on Twitter
If you like this story, sign up for the weekly newsletter with features for bbc.com called "If you're just reading 6 things this week." Selected selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital and Travel delivered to your mailbox every Friday.