It’s World Suicide Prevention Day today. Year on year, the number of people taking their lives increases. Shockingly, the number of women taking their lives has remained static for the last 15 years. The number of men (and consequently the percentage of men) goes up.
In the UK where I live, that increase has been meteoric since 2007. Though diagnoses of depression between genders is roughly equivalent and suicide attempts are also equivalent, 78% of suicides are male. It is expected to rise again in 2015 in the UK and in the US.
This enormous and sobering disparity between the genders is largely put down to belief that women attempt suicide as a cry for help, and that men do so because there is nothing left to live for. Please watch this heart-wrenching video; it’s about a San Francisco cop whose patrol area includes The Golden Gate Bridge. He has attempted to talk many people out of taking their own lives – sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
Please watch it.
Having been at that point, I know precisely the despair people must be feeling to contemplate climbing over that barrier. I don’t want to cover old ground; I wrote about my own experience last year. If you didn’t read it then, please feel free to do so now (link here).