International Men's Day 2024 at Space & Time

International Men’s Day

November 19th is International Men’s Day, a global observance that celebrates the achievements and positive contributions of men whilst also addressing men’s health and wellbeing.

This year’s theme is ‘Zero Male Suicide’. 115 people die by suicide in the UK every week – 75% of those deaths are male. Middle-aged men are more likely to die by suicide than any other age group, particularly those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.

Suicide is complex and many factors combined can push someone to take their own life but why is the rate of suicide so much higher in men?

Some speculate that while there have been significant changes in society over the last few decades with the roles that men and women play, men are still being brought up to conform to societal stereotypes around strength, stoicism and self control.

Men are less likely to talk about their feelings or mental health issues due to the fear of appearing weak or vulnerable. Stereotypes around masculinity can discourage men from expressing emotions openly and this internalisation of emotions can lead to a sense of isolation.

Men are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviours, including reckless actions and substance abuse, which can increase their susceptibility to mental health issues and suicidal thoughts.

Female employees are twice as likely as male employees to seek mental health support.

To combat the high rates of male suicide it is imperative that we address the issue with empathy and understanding.

We must challenge the traditional notions of masculinity and encourage open conversations about mental health across all genders. Promoting open dialogue can help men feel comfortable discussing their emotions without fearing judgement.

Through talking and raising awareness we can remove any stigma relating to mental health. By fostering a sense of community we can help combat isolation and provide a sense of belonging. At Space & Time we encourage the use of our Employee Assistance Programme and invite colleagues to discuss mental health openly. Through an emphasis on destigmatisation, the promotion of a healthy work-life balance and building supportive networks we can all collectively work towards achieving the theme ‘Zero Men’s Suicide’.