Confessions first: The headline I’ve used here is a blatant appeal to the male ego. Studies show that women want to be wanted, and men, well, they need to be needed.
Men, I need you to read on. It could change the lives of those you love and you could help save the life of a friend.
During the last ten years, in the Franklin region alone, 65 people committed suicide, and 47 of those were men*.
Over 25% of those men were aged 40-49, making this the highest affected age group.
Assuming those men were in relationships, that would have left many partners without the man they loved. At that age, we could also assume for most, that their parents were still living, leaving many more Mums and Dads with the heartbreak of losing their son.
Take it a step further and let’s think about the kids. Based on an average of two kids each, that means more than 20 children will never have their Dads in their lives. Put it all together, and that’s a lot of people facing huge loss, many of whom will never recover and will never be able to live their lives to the fullest.
So why did these men decide to take their lives?
We can’t comment on individuals, but what we do know are some of the reasons that research has uncovered for this age group. Financial problems, alcohol or drug addiction and relationship issues, appear to be common themes. Those facing financial problems often feel overwhelmed and become depressed. A common thread is that they try to solve the problem by themselves, taking on all of the stress that this involves, instead of seeking advice from professionals and support from friends.
Many think that their loved ones would be better off without them around. That they are a burden on their families.
From the feedback provided by some of those left behind, we know that this is completely wrong.
The lasting message they remember, is that you didn’t love them enough to stay.
Write all you want in a note, it doesn’t matter. This is the message your actions leave behind.
Men – we need you. If you’re facing troubles that are leaving you feeling overwhelmed, or you feel there is no hope, please take just one step and seek help. Talk to a good friend, or pick up the phone and call one of the many helplines that are there for all of us when we feel there is no way forward (see the list below).
If you have a friend that’s facing hard times, be a good listener and support them in seeking help.
Men – please love us enough to stay. We need you.
Where to get help:
Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 / 0508 TAUTOKO (24/7). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (24/7)
Rural Support Trust Helpline: 0800 787 254
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
*Statistics were obtained from the Coroners Office and relate to the Franklin Ward Territorial Licensing Authority Region.