Suicidality in men - practical issues, challenges, solutions

Wolfgang Rutz, Zoltan Rihmer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

If we look at today's high male suicide rates as the outermost evident proof for men being mentally ill and consider the links between an individual male's depression and their suicidality, a major challenge appears: to improve the determinants and preconditions for men's wellbeing and health even on an aggregate societal level. This means identifying and further increasing men's levels of autonomy, to counteract their helplessness, to facilitate a mutual and pluralistic gender tolerance, to support and restore males' sense of social cohesion and existential meaning and to give, in a new way, a place for the often traditional masculine values of integrity, pride, status and dignity - even in our modern societies of gender transition. Females and males are 'sitting in the same boat'. Both genders define and influence each other's identity and societal position. This means that men and women in a societal and/or individual crisis often become each other's problem, which can cause violence as well as suicide, with concomittant abuse, risk-taking behaviour and stress-related somatic disorders - all afflicting both genders. Thus, increasing understanding and communicative ability, as well as social interaction between genders, seems to be one of the strongest health promotional actions that can be carried out, on a political level, at a societal level, in families and directed to the individual person. This should be done in parallel with improving early detection and possibilities for therapeutic intervention, especially concerning common but atypical conditions of 'male depression' as well as depression-related aggression and suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Men's Health and Gender
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2007

Keywords

  • Gender mental health
  • Male depression
  • Male suicidality
  • Public health
  • Suicide prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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