Suicide a top health concern for men

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-June is National Men’s Health Awareness month. One of the top dangers men face when it comes to their health is depression and suicide.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the rate of suicide is highest in middle-age white men.

Men are almost four times more likely to complete suicide than women, and for several reasons.

 “They feel like they’re stronger, that they can take care of themselves. Mental illness makes them weaker or less of a man,” said Jennifer Fugate, a therapist at LifeSkills, Inc.

Mental health professionals identify several common causes of suicidal thoughts and depression in men.

“Life events, unemployment, military, combat exposure, trauma, being isolated,” said Kim Wilson, licensed social worker at Wilson Counseling.

Stigma is a major reason that men do not seek out help when it comes to depression.

“We still have a lot of a lot of masculine type thinking. For men it’s a weakness. They’re not supposed to talk about their feelings. They’re supposed to be the strong one, the protector. With that image that we then strive to uphold, we don’t want to tell anybody that we’re struggling with feeling depressed,” said Wilson.

What’s more, medical professionals say it’s very unlikely that anyone can cure themselves of depression or suicidal thoughts on their own.

“Mental illness is no different than a physical illness. Sometimes mental illness is caused by chemical imbalance in the brain that needs to be medicated. So we would want to see them, and have that opportunity to talk to them,” Fugate.

There are several ways to seek out help. If you are in a crisis, or feeling depressed, the local 24-hr crisis intervention number is 270-843-4357.