Men now at higher risk for suicide | Inquirer Business
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Men now at higher risk for suicide


It can be quite a challenge understanding the various risk factors triggering suicide in men. The risk factors are complex, but what’s important to realize is that they can be effectively addressed or treated, which can go a long way in preventing suicide among men.

The risk factors span a range of intrapsychic, emotional, interpersonal and social, making men feel like they’ve painted themselves to a corner, with no logical way of getting out from the situation.


Men generally are more prone to illnesses, injury and physical inactivity than women. They’re likewise more likely to fall victim to substance abuse (alcohol or drug) and other forms of addiction, like gambling.


History of abuse, etc.

Some men with suicidal tendencies may have had a history of physical and sexual abuse, past or current fear of condemning environments (like of the gays, eccentric men, radical activists), separation or relationship breakdowns, work-related issues such as job insecurity and long-term unemployment, loss of a loved one especially when sudden, and various severe stress in life.

Unlike women, men tend to keep their problems to themselves, avoiding to burden family and friends with their woes.  Hence, their social support system is less in scope and effectiveness than in women.

Prevention programs

Several effective national prevention programs to keep suicide from happening specifically in men—such as those in Australia, England and the United States—encourage a positive help-seeking behavior rather than a negative self-isolating one   among men. They try to discard the negative aspects of gender stereotyping by helping men develop a more consistently positive mindset amid whatever setbacks or crises they encounter in life.

These programs are very empowering for men, and make them look at themselves as important contributors to society.


In the United States, they have a very helpful website called “Man Therapy,” a Colorado-based suicide prevention campaign specifically for men. It is an interactive website featuring a  therapist named “Dr. Rich Mahogany,” and he helps men sort out their issues with macho humor.

The manly banter make the men participating in the interaction more free in discussing whatever problems they have, and Dr. Mahogany guides them on how to address their problems. They’re also referred for counseling or psychotherapy if warranted; and they’re followed up offline from time to time to make sure they’re able to cope with their various issues.

Early on, a man should identify any of the many possible factors are affecting him mentally. Every one has his or her own share of problems. Not all problems should be considered alarming. However, if one could no longer be functional at home or at work because of these problems, or if one continues to have persistent and recurrent negative thoughts (despair, bitterness, anger, suicidal), then it becomes a potentially serious condition.

Positive coping starts by one’s acceptance that he’s being bothered by one or several of these problems. Denying or refusing to accept it will only make these “mental demons” keep  coming back and mentally haunt him until finally he’s pushed to the edge.

‘Releasing’ process

After one has accepted the existence of these problems, one is in a better position to “release”  and be liberated from them. Of course, this is easier said than done. But many people do it by themselves on a regular basis, and that makes them mentally and physically balanced. For some people, they may have to be helped. A specialist, such as a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist, should be able to guide them in this important “releasing” process.

It’s unfortunate that in our country, seeking the help of a professional to help one cope with psychological issues, is still looked upon negatively, as if one is really seriously sick in the head. This mentality should be discarded.

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These professionals, either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist, should be considered  “coaches” who can help one look at things from an objective perspective, and offer strategies to help one “play a winning game” amid the various challenges in life.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please reach out to the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH). Their crisis hotlines are available at 1553 (Luzon-wide landline toll-free), 0917-899-USAP (8727), 0966-351-4518, and 0908-639-2672. For more information, visit their website: (

Alternatively, you can contact Hopeline PH at the following numbers: 0917-5584673, 0918-8734673, 88044673. Additional resources are available at, or connect with them on Facebook at Hopeline PH.

TAGS: column, health and wellness, Men, Rafael Castillo, suicide

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