Suicide is a predominantly male problem. It is the biggest killer of men aged between 20 and 49 and of the 5,981 suicides that occurred in Britain in 2012, 4,590 were men. In February, the proportion of men taking their own lives in the UK reached its highest level for more than a decade – with 19 deaths by suicide for every 100,000 men in 2013.
Yet despite these figures, male suicide has been described as a "silent epidemic" because of its substantial contribution to male mortality and due to the reluctance of men to seek help for mental health problems. Women are more likely to suffer from depression but men are far less likely to talk about it.
Mind, a leading mental health charity in the UK, has published research that revealed just 23% of men would see a GP if they felt low for more than a fortnight, compared with a third of women. This could be biological, but it could also be because when asked, women are more likely to report symptoms of common mental illness.
One in four women will require treatment for depression at some point in their lives, compared with one in 10 men. And even if men do seek help from a GP, depression may be misdiagnosed as something else because they present different symptoms to a doctor."
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