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Nosipho Gumede
2 minute read
6 Jun 2022
11:49

Suicide high among men in South Africa

Nosipho Gumede

The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) has urged men to speak up before it’s too late, in light of men’s health month in June.

The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) has urged men to speak up before it’s too late, in light of men’s health month in June.

This comes after a shocking revelation that showed that men are most likely to commit suicide than women in South Africa.

According to a statement from SASOP, South Africa is ranked number 10 on the list of countries with the most suicides with 23,5 per 100 000 population.

“Of the 13 774 suicides reported in South Africa, 10 861 were men while 2 913 were women – translating to a rate of 37,6 per 100 000 for men and 9,8 per 100 000 for women.

“Men are five times more likely to die by suicide than women and often use more aggressive methods. Although surveys reveal that women are diagnosed more than men with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, men don’t speak about their feelings until it is too late,” read the statement.

The SASOP added that men underplay the distress caused by these symptoms drowning their depression and anxiety with poor coping behaviours, increasing their risk of the anxiety or depression to go unrecognised and untreated.

The statement also shed light on toxic masculinity which is how society expects men to ‘man up’ and adopt the ‘boys don’t cry’ mentality.

“It’s this attitude of men portrayed as being brave and fearless that leads to men considering themselves in a negative light if they suffer from mental health conditions. And for this very reason, they see it as putting themselves in a vulnerable position when seeking help,” read the statement.

Men have been urged to get help for themselves or those close to them by contacting the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800 121 314, or by sending an SMS to 32312 and a counsellor will call back.