FROM “Man up, you can’t be depressed just because this happened!” TO “Why are you looking so sad and tired? Are you depressed? You can talk to me if you want..”
To begin with, according to the World Bank dataset on development indicators, it is clear that men’s average suicide mortality rate is significantly higher than females.
Surprisingly, males are three times more suicidal than females, reaching an average of 14.3 male suicides per 100,000 males, while 4.4 female suicides per 100,000 females.
But why is this the case?
While comparing countries with high unemployment rates and countries with low unemployment rates, the following analyses were investigated:
To begin with, in Countries with highest unemployment rates, the suicide mortality rates for both men and women are higher.
However, when faced with difficult economic situations:
- Females suicide mortality rates were higher by 150%
- Males suicide mortality rates were higher by 217%
This leads to the conclusion that men’s mental health tends to be more susceptible to financial burdens.
So, what should be done?
A potential solution would be providing unemployment benefits, which are governmental compensations that are provided for unemployed people. These compensations help secure a stable income after the layoff of an employee, and they improve unemployed people’s productivity in the labor market by improving job matching and connecting employees to employers.
In addition, this solution can be helpful in mitigating the impact of unemployment on the psychological wellbeing of people.
As the following illustration shows, both females’ and males’ suicide mortality rates are higher in countries with lower adequacy and coverage of unemployment benefits
More specifically, males’ suicide rates are 31% lower in countries with high adequacy and coverage of unemployment benefits.
Thus, in order to mitigate the males’ suicide mortality, several recommendations are suggested to be effective.
- First, it is highly recommended that suicide prevention groups intensify their focus on men and encourage them to express themselves and seek psychological help.
- Equally important, in countries with high unemployment rates, governments should work on providing unemployment benefits and ensure their wide coverage of the unemployed.