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  • Writer's pictureaxisaberdeen

Breaking the Stigma: Promoting mental health on International Men's Day to reduce male suicides

The 2023 theme for International Men’s Day is Zero Male Suicide. Male suicide is still a major epidemic in the UK, with 86 people who identify as male committing suicide every week with men aged 45-49 having the highest suicide rate.

Here at AXIS Network we believe being an ally to another identity group can be one of the most effective and powerful ways to educate others, so to celebrate International Men’s Day we share what individuals and workplaces can do to support better mental health for men and everyone.

What can we do?

As an ally we can help. Here are some steps we can take to help anyone who may be suffering:

Be educated: Whilst it can be an uncomfortable topic, understanding the signs of various mental health illnesses which can lead to suicide is vital in identifying and helping a person who is suffering.

Be a safe space: That could take different forms depending on the person. Ask them for coffee, ask them how they really are, offer non-judgemental support where necessary.

Be curious and present: Should someone come to you with issues, be open and curious about the information they give you, try not to jump straight into solution mode or judgment which includes being mindful of the language used when discussing the topic.

Companies also have a critical role to play. As a company, mental health of employees is an important aspect of the business and if not managed properly can negatively impact production, absences and staff turnover. Things companies can do to improve the wellbeing of their staff:

Continually assess workload and strain on the workforce: Burnout is a significant and key aspect which contributes to a variety of mental illnesses which can then further contribute to suicide.

Assess your benefits packages: Flexible working, parental leave and many other benefits all drastically impact the wellbeing of staff whilst also increasing productivity. Axis Network have shared role models who have shown positive impacts of these flexible working policies; you can read their stories here:

Provide services: Access to a mental health line or creating a network could be enough when someone is reaching a lower mental state.

Educate line managers: Line managers are generally the first point of call for staff to raise concerns, so ensure line managers are mental health allies and can appropriately advocate for their employees and be able to resolve issues effectively.

To learn more about the impact suicide can have on those they leave behind, please watch this TED Talk:

Lori and Travis Pritchard with their children

International Men’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives and highlight the positive impact they bring to the world. We all have fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles and friends which bring light to our lives and support us to be our best. What better way to celebrate than educating ourselves and ensuring we do our best to support them.



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