Men and suicide: A huge public health concern

Suicide rates in men
Updated: Jun. 13, 2018 at 11:51 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's Men's Health Week, and men, it's time to open up and talk. And I mean really talk, because there's something happening across America that's very disturbing. The number of people who take their lives by suicide is growing. Particularly among men.

Two high profile suicides last week have brought renewed attention to suicide.

Health professionals say opening up and talking about feelings is a great way to begin dealing with the issue. The facts are sobering.

According to the CDC, nearly 78 percent of all suicides are by males. That's nearly four times the rate of females. Nationwide, suicide is the 7th leading cause of death in men.

Most men who engage in suicidal behavior never seek mental health services.

It's a huge public health concern, according to Dr. Jason Boothe of Novant Health Southpark. But he says he's seeing something positive happen in his practice. "For the past year I've been very surprised, honestly, very pleasantly surprised at the amount of men that are coming in and really openly telling me that 'I have a problem' and really frankly saying that," Boothe says.

"I don't know if it's a, maybe it's an unexpected consequence of the 'Me Too' movement where men feel very empowered now to say, 'Hey, something is wrong, my anxiety level is really stopping me from being able to function. Hey, I really have a problem with anger. Can you help me with that?'" Booth continued.

Think about it guys. You see a doctor for your physical health. You should be talking about your mental health as well.

And talking is key, says Dr. Boothe: "I spend a majority of my time speaking with men. Just sitting down, listening to them. And they just open up about everything. It's been, it's been really gratifying. But really we need to just, we need to open the door, and say, hey it's okay for you to talk about this stuff."

Yes, it's okay to talk about this stuff, to talk about your feelings. You should feel comfortable talking to your doctor. After all, they're there to help.

It's important to get the conversation going and once it starts, you might be surprised at how much better you'll feel.

If you or anyone you know is having issues and unable to see a doctor or other professional, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a great resource.

That number is 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.