Middle Aged Men and Suicide Research Report launched at Men’s Health Symposium
Today sees the launch of a new report that examines why middle aged Irish men have the highest rate of suicide of all age groups in Ireland. The ‘Middle-Aged Men and Suicide in Ireland’ report makes recommendations for engaging middle-aged men with services. This includes, reducing the continued stigma associated with mental health and with men accessing support for mental health issues.
The aim of the report was to explore the factors underpinning the higher suicide rates among middle-aged men at risk of marginalisation. That is to say, men aged 40-59 years old who have at least one other identity characteristic which puts them at greater risk of suicide. The report focuses on middle-aged men who are: gay, transgender, members of the Travelling community, victims of domestic abuse, members of ethnic minority groups, farmers, unemployed, rurally isolated or separated/divorced fathers.
Former Republic of Ireland international Jason McAteer officially helped launched the report at Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin as the focal point of the Men’s Health Symposium. In the past, Mr McAteer has spoken publicly of his own experience of depression and suicidal thoughts after retiring from football. The report was funded by the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and produced by the National Centre for Men’s Health (NCMH). It sets out a series of recommendations for what can be done to reduce suicidal behaviour in middle-aged men.
“Men are four times more likely to die by suicide than women and the highest suicide rate is among those aged 45-54,” explained the HSE’s Assistant National Director with Responsibility for the National Office for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Strategy, Mr John Meehan. He continued: “We funded this report as part of our national suicide prevention strategy, Connecting for Life, which identifies middle-aged men as a priority group, for whom there is evidence of vulnerability to and increased risk of suicidal behaviour”.
Dr Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director, Strategic Planning & Transformation stated: “We are happy to be able to build on the good work done in the area of men’s health and in 2018 are expanding our reach with programmes such as ‘Men on the Move’ and the ‘National Men’s Health Engage Training’. These programmes have proven that taking a best practice approach to working with men pay dividends. We are also working to expand the reach and engagement of malehealth.ie by supporting the Irish Men’s Sheds Association in this work. Partners are key to the scope and reach of this work throughout the country and when men’s health is supported effectively through local Connecting for Life and Healthy Ireland plans, men’s health can be addressed and improved.”
The Men’s Health Symposium is taking place today, Thursday 15 March 2018 at Dr Steevens’ Hospital, Dublin. All places are fully booked. The symposium was organised by the Advisory Group of the HSE’s plan for men’s health; ‘Healthy Ireland – Men 2017-2021’ (led by the Men’s Health Forum) and will explore the diverse health and wellbeing needs of middle-aged men in Ireland.
Follow the conversation at #healthyirelandmen and #connectingforlife