The number of male mental health patients who took their own lives in Britain rose by almost a third between 2003 and 2013, according to new research from the University of Manchester.
In their annual inquiry into suicide by people with mental health illnesses in the UK, the researchers identified an increase of 34 per cent among male patients since 2006, compared with a steadier level for females.
Of all age groups, the biggest rise was observed among males aged 45 to 54, among whom deaths by suicide have gone up by 73 per cent since 2006. Of all areas of the UK, the biggest rise in deaths was observed in England.
The authors of the report described bringing down the high level of male deaths as a “suicide prevention strategy” and suggested addressing causes of poor mental health among this group.
“Services should ensure that they and partner agencies address factors that add to risk in male patients – especially alcohol misuse, isolation and economic problems such as debt and unemployment,” the report says.
It also advised health services to ensure male patients have access to psychological treatments as well as drug treatments, and that risk is monitored closely.
If you believe you are at risk and require support, Samaritans are available 24 hours a day and can be contacted on 08457909090.