Did you know? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Suicide among males is four times higher than among females
Male deaths represent 79% of all US suicides
Suicide rate peaks in men between the ages of 20 to 24
Here at U of M, we know that 67% of UM college students sometimes experience feeling isolated and alone. We have a campus community that cares and is here to help. And, we know that many men struggle with asking for help. Some men want to solve the problem on their own. Others worry about being a burden or don’t want to look weak. CAPS believes the UM community can “change the story” for men who feel they have to suffer in silence.
Here are a few ways to help men who may be struggling with suicide:
- Know the resources
- Know the myths and facts
- Myth 1
- Myth: Men considering suicide are weak.
- Fact: Men who get to the point of considering suicide have been through a long and challenging path. They may be looking for someone to simply acknowledge the difficulty of experiences they have been through.
- Myth 2
- Myth: Talking with a man about suicide will only make them angry & increase the risk of suicide.
- Fact: Asking a man directly about suicide may lower anxiety, open up communication, and can lower the risk of an impulsive act
- Myth 3
- Myth: Men who are feeling suicidal keep their plans to themselves.
- Fact: Most communicate (it might be subtle) their intent sometime during the week preceding their attempt. (This shows the typical ambivalence a man has about wanting to die).
- Myth 1
- Know the warning signs
- A few (not all) behavioral signs: abuse of drugs or alcohol, unexplained anger, loss of energy, disrupted sleep, increasing levels of risk taking, decreased motivation, and hopelessness.
- A few (not all) verbal and situational signs: directly talking about wanting to die, loss of relationship or academic status.
- Know how to start the conversation
- Prepare to share your concern for them. Consider what changes you have seen and how best to share those.
- Let him talk. Ask open ended questions and demonstrate that you are hearing what he is saying.
- Express your appreciation for what he has shared. Acknowledge that talking about suicide is not easy and depending on his upbringing (culture, family, societal pressure, etc), this may be a very big step.
- Consider following up and/or getting him connected to resources at UM.
- Know that CAPS is available to consult with you along the way