In the UK, two women a week are murdered by their partners or former partners*. This is a statistic that any self-respecting man regards as unacceptable, and highlights issues of male violence that we should all be concerned about. But did you know, that during that same week, ninety men kill themselves? That’s about 13 men every day, or one every two hours**.
If so many men are terminally unhappy, how many more men are unhappy with themselves and their lives, but short of the point of direct self-harm? They keep soldiering on, wearing a mask, to maintain some place in the world and a modest substitute for confident well-being. Along the way they may well numb their feelings with alcohol, food or overwork.
If you are one of those men living lives of quiet desperation, you may find it most challenging when you are in a period of transition – reorganisation at work, promotion, job change or a relationship challenge. It’s hard enough to keep life on an even keel, let alone deal with outside challenges.
Crisis In Men’s Mental Health
There are many possible reasons for this crisis in men’s mental health. Men are far less likely to admit or talk about any struggle. The arena of work, which has provided a role for men for generations, is changing rapidly and the old secure careers are long gone. Changes in family structure have meant that many younger men have grown up without a male role model in their household.
I meet many men as coaching clients who are performing on the outside, but lack a sense of who they are and what their worth is as a person. If this sounds like you, or you know someone like this, struggling to make sense of the world, I’d like to hear your views.
**Office for National Statistics. Female suicides are one third of the male rate.