top of page

Breaking the Silence, Building Resilience: Empowering Men in the Journey to Suicide Prevention

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

In 2020: 12.2 million adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.2 million adults made a plan, and 1.2 million adults attempted suicide. These are alarming numbers? Mental illness such as depression and anxiety are not the only factors that leads to suicide. Social aspects such as: financial challenges, loneliness, shame and career/job dissatisfaction also play a role.

People who have lived through suicidal thoughts were asked what you would you tell someone who is struggling.

  1. You are enough

  2. Find the thing you want to live for (a person, place or thing)

  3. Find an outlet to express what you’re feeling (trained professional, trusted friend or family member)

  4. Break time down to smaller units. Don’t think too far ahead (day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute)

In 2001 I moved from Rhode Island to Florida and lived there for two years. I was in an unhappy marriage and Florida did not agree with me. I was feeling isolated, disconnected and desperate. Speaking with a trusted friend and a family member was the coping mechanism I put in place during this time. I reached out to my brother and my good friend Ron and reported “I'm really struggling, I'm gonna use you as my lifeline and connect with you on a regular basis”. This was a key strategy that got me through this tough time.

What can you do if someone in your life is struggling and has suicidal thoughts?

  • Have a conversation with them. Your willingness to express concern can be the first step to getting that person help, and this is the case with anyone in your life?

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the uncomfortable question. Are you considering suicide?

  • Be a good listener

*All good listeners remain present and demonstrates body language that indicates you are listening. This entails maintaining eye contact and undertaking affirmative gestures such as nodding.

*Show empathy-Through empathic listening the listener lets the speaker know, "I understand your problem and how you feel about it, I am interested in what you are saying and I am not judging you."

*Don’t interrupt

*Ask good follow up questions the indicate you were listening and care.

The journey toward suicide prevention for men is a collective effort that requires empathy, understanding, and a willingness to break the silence surrounding mental health and other life challenges. By fostering open conversations, offering support networks, and promoting mental health awareness, we can break down the stigma that often prevents men from seeking help. You can create a world where every man feels heard, understood, and supported in their struggle, ultimately preventing the tragedy of suicide.

To those men who may be grappling with thoughts of suicide, know that reaching out for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. You don't have to face your struggles alone, and there are people who care about you and want to offer support. Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a mental health professional, sharing your feelings can be the first step toward healing. Remember, seeking help is not a burden; it's a courageous choice. Your life matters, and there is hope even in the darkest moments. Reach out, talk to someone, and let them be a guiding light on your journey to recovery. You are not alone, and there is help available to lift you up during these challenging times.

4 views0 comments


bottom of page