Suicide In Men: A Comprehensive Guide


Suicide is a growing concern in Australia, with 3,318 people dying by suicide in 2019, which was a 12% increase from the previous year. This increase in suicide rates is particularly alarming for men, who account for three out of four overall suicides in Australia. While mental illness is often associated with suicide, there are many other factors that contribute to suicidal ideation and behaviour in men. In this article, we will explore the causes, warning signs, and prevention measures of suicide in men.

Causes of Suicide in Men

Suicide is not caused by a single factor but is usually the result of a combination of different factors. These factors are often intertwined and can create a perfect storm. Here are some of the common causes of suicide in men:

Mental Illness

Mental illness, particularly depression, is often associated with suicide. Men are less likely to seek help for their mental health issues, which can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. Depression can make men feel like they are a burden to others and that life is not worth living. Suicide is the result of these negative feelings, which can be overwhelming for men.

Relationship Breakdowns

Relationship breakdowns and divorce can be emotionally challenging for men, especially if they are not able to maintain a relationship with their children. Men who have a poor relationship with their partner or children may feel isolated and alone, which can lead to depression and a sense of hopelessness.

Unemployment and Financial Troubles

Unemployment and financial troubles can put a great deal of pressure on men, especially if they have been the primary breadwinner for their family. Men who are unable to provide for their families may feel like they have failed, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and despair.

Substance Abuse

Substance abuse can contribute to suicidal behaviour in men. Drugs and alcohol can exacerbate existing mental health issues and make it more difficult for men to manage their emotions. Substance abuse can also lead to relationship breakdowns, financial troubles, and legal problems, all of which can contribute to suicidal thoughts.

Warning Signs of Suicide in Men

It is essential to recognize the warning signs of suicide in men. Here are some of the signs to look out for:

Talking about Suicide

Men who are contemplating suicide may talk about it openly or indirectly. They may talk about feeling like a burden, having no purpose in life, or being unable to cope with negative thoughts and emotions.

Substance Abuse

Men who are experiencing suicidal ideation may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with their negative feelings. Substance abuse can be a warning sign of suicidal behaviour.

Withdrawing from Social Activities

Men who are contemplating suicide may withdraw from social activities, including clubs, hobbies, or sports. They may also stop spending time with family and friends and become increasingly isolated.

Changes in Behaviour

A man who is contemplating suicide may exhibit changes in behaviour. They may become more reckless or impulsive, engage in risky behaviour, or stop taking care of themselves.

Prevention Measures for Suicide in Men

Suicide prevention is possible, and there are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of suicide in men. Here are some prevention measures that can be implemented:

Encouraging Open Communication

Men need to talk openly about their thoughts and feelings. Encouraging men to seek help when they are struggling can be vital in preventing suicide. Mental health professionals can provide support, identify warning signs, and develop strategies to manage negative feelings.

Involving Family and Friends

Family and friends can play a crucial role in suicide prevention. They can identify changes in behaviour, offer support, and help to reduce feelings of isolation. Including family and friends in treatment can also help men to feel more connected and supported.

Eliminating Stigma

Stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide can prevent men from seeking help. Eliminating stigma can encourage men to seek help without feeling ashamed or embarrassed. Education and awareness campaigns can help to reduce stigma and encourage men to seek help when they need it.

Access to Crisis Services

Access to crisis services can be vital in preventing suicide in men. Suicide prevention hotlines, crisis centres, and mental health services can provide support for men who are struggling with suicidal ideation.


Suicide is a growing concern in Australia and is particularly prevalent in men. A combination of factors, including mental illness, relationship breakdowns, unemployment, and substance abuse, can contribute to suicidal behaviour in men. Recognizing the warning signs of suicide is crucial to preventing suicide. Encouraging open communication, involving family and friends, eliminating stigma, and providing access to crisis services can all help to reduce the risk of suicide in men. With the right support and treatment, suicide can be prevented.


FAQ 1: What are the main causes of suicide in men?

Suicide in men can be caused by a variety of factors, including mental illness such as depression and anxiety, substance abuse, financial stress, and relationship breakdowns. Men may also feel societal pressures to be strong and suppress their emotions, leading to feelings of isolation and despair.

FAQ 2: How can I recognize the signs of suicide in men?

Some common signs of suicidal ideation in men include withdrawing from friends and family, giving away possessions, increased alcohol or drug use, changes in mood or behaviour, and expressions of hopelessness or despair. It is important to take these signs seriously and seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing them.

FAQ 3: What can be done to prevent suicide in men?

Preventing suicide in men involves creating a supportive, non-judgmental environment where men feel comfortable seeking help for mental health issues. This can involve destigmatizing mental illness, promoting open communication about emotions, and providing resources such as counselling and therapy. It is also important to address societal pressures that contribute to toxic masculinity and the suppression of emotions in men.


1. Bridge, J. A., Goldstein, T. R., & Brent, D. A. (2020). Adolescent suicide and suicidal behavior. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 61(3), 295-303.
2. Han, B., Compton, W. M., Blanco, C., Colpe, L. J., Huang, L., McKeon, R., & Ilgen, M. A. (2018). Trends in and disparities associated with suicidal behavior among US Army soldiers: 2004–2009. JAMA psychiatry, 75(10), 1029-1036.
3. Canetto, S. S., & Sakinofsky, I. (2020). The gender paradox in suicide. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, 50(5), 903-914.