Suicide in young men

University College London Mental Health Sciences Unit, London, UK.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 06/2012; 379(9834):2383-92. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)60731-4
Source: PubMed


Suicide is second to only accidental death as the leading cause of mortality in young men across the world. Although suicide rates for young men have fallen in some high-income and middle-income countries since the 1990s, wider mortality measures indicate that rates remain high in specific regions, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic groups within those nations where rates have fallen, and that young men account for a substantial proportion of the economic cost of suicide. High-lethality methods of suicide are preferred by young men: hanging and firearms in high-income countries, pesticide poisoning in the Indian subcontinent, and charcoal-burning in east Asia. Risk factors for young men include psychiatric illness, substance misuse, lower socioeconomic status, rural residence, and single marital status. Population-level factors include unemployment, social deprivation, and media reporting of suicide. Few interventions to reduce suicides in young men have been assessed. Efforts to change help-seeking behaviour and to restrict access to frequently used methods hold the most promise.

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Available from: Michael B King, Jan 14, 2014
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    • "Suicide is a leading cause of mortality for young men in most high-and middle-income countries (Pitman et al. 2012). Mental health disorders have been identified in the majority of completed cases of youth suicide examined by psychological autopsy research, but very low rates of contact with mental health services have been reported (Houston et al. 2001, Renaud et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The potential for young men in crisis to be supported by their lay networks is an important issue for suicide prevention, due to the under-utilisation of healthcare services by this population. Central to the provision of lay support is the capability of social networks to recognise and respond effectively to young men's psychological distress and suicide risk. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore young men's narratives of peer suicide, in order to identify how they interpreted and responded to behavioural changes and indications of distress from their friend before suicide. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted during 2009/10 with 15 Irish males (aged 19-30 years) who had experienced the death by suicide of a male friend in the preceding 5 years. The data were analysed using a thematic approach. Through the analysis of the participants' stories and experiences, we identified several features of young male friendships and social interactions that could be addressed to strengthen the support available to young men in crisis. These included the reluctance of young men to discuss emotional or personal issues within male friendships; the tendency to reveal worries and emotion only within the context of alcohol consumption; the tendency of friends to respond in a dismissive or disapproving way to communication of suicidal thoughts; the difficulty of knowing how to interpret a friend's inconsistent or ambiguous behaviour prior to suicide; and beliefs about the sort of person who takes their own life. Community-based suicide prevention initiatives must enhance the potential of young male social networks to support young men in crisis, through specific provisions for developing openness in communication and responsiveness, and improved education about suicide risk.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Health & Social Care in the Community
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    • "The established 2:1 incidence rate of major depressive disorder (favouring females) remains poorly understood (Möller-Leimkühler and Yucel, 2010) and belies the fact that in comparison to females, males are four times more likely to die by suicide (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). To address the issue of men's suicide, peak representative bodies and public health researchers continue to call for improved assessment and treatment of depression in men (e.g., American Psychological Association, 2005; Pitman et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: The last decade has seen the burgeoning publication of male-specific depression rating scales designed to assess externalising depression symptoms (e.g., substance use, risk-taking, and aggression). These symptoms are theorised to reflect the behavioural manifestation of depression amongst men who rigidly conform to masculine norms. To date, research findings from these scales have been mixed, and each scale is limited by psychometric shortcomings or constrained assessment of symptom sub-domains. The Male Depression Risk Scale (MDRS-22) was developed from online, non-clinical, community samples. Following best-practice recommendations, initial scale items were subject to expert review. Study 1 (male n=386) reduced the item pool via exploratory factor analysis while Study 2 (male n=499, female n=291) refined and validated the factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis. Sex and masculinity comparisons were evaluated. Goodness of fit indices validated the six-factor solution with subscales assessing: emotional suppression, drug use, alcohol use, anger and aggression, somatic symptoms and risk-taking. Between-groups analyses indicated higher MDRS-22 scores for males reporting higher conformity to masculine norms. Data were drawn from an online community sample without use of diagnostic interview. Test-retest correlations were not evaluated. Future research should look to examine longitudinal typical-externalising symptom trajectories across a range of clinical and non-clinical settings. The MDRS-22 reports satisfactory preliminary psychometric properties with validated subscales enabling multidimensional assessment of theorised externalising symptom sub-domains. MDRS-22 scale brevity may facilitate use in primary care settings enabling better identification of at-risk males.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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    Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · The Lancet
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