Killer facts about male suicide

One million people commit suicide  around the world every year and the majority of them are men

Men in the UK are three times more likely to commit suicide than women

In the UK more that 4,000 men kill themselves every year, that’s 12 suicides a day or one sudicide every two hours of every day

Boys are four times more likely to be  excluded from school and excluded boys are 19 times more likely to commit suicide

Young offenders are 18 times more likely to commit suicide

Men are 19 times more likely to be in prison and male prisoners are five times more likely than men in the general public to die by suicide,

Boys are 25% more likely to end up in care and men who were in care are four to five times more likely to attempt suicide in adulthood

Young men leaving the UK military forces are two to three times more likely to commit suicide (Kapur et al, 2009)

Separated men are twice as likely to commit suicide as other men and 6 times more likely to commit suicide than separated women

Boys separated from their fathers are twice as likely to commit suicide

A homeless rough sleeper is 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person in the UK

40 per cent of men who have been sexually abused contemplate suicide  (Meltzer et al 2002)

4 out of 10 men men who attempt suicide are chronic problem drinkers and 7 out of 10 male suicides are alcohol related

75% of men who commit suicide had no contact with specialist mental health services during the 12 months prior to their death

90% of men have a mental health problem when they kill themselves

Male suicide is not a selfish act, it is an act of desperation by a man in intense pain

The majority of male suicides are preventable.


Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in NEWS
15 comments on “Killer facts about male suicide
  1. James says:

    I’d be more convinced if there were fewer spelling mistakes & inaccuracies in this article. What, exactly, is the point you’re trying to make?

    • glenpoole says:

      Hi James

      Thanks for taking time to read the post and comment – if there are any spelling mistakes or inaccuracies so please give us the specifics and we’ll have them checked. The point of this article is to share information about male suicide – 12 men will kill themselves in the UK and experts like say these deaths are preventable – if we can save the lives of 12 men a day in the uk then what’s stopping us? We’re not trying to convince you of anything James – either you think male suicides should be prevented or you don’t – if you do, then this information provides information on some of the groups of men are more likely to commit suicide

  2. The business of the “negative”.

    I was doing some simple research this last year, and noted that an ‘iron deficiency’ can cause depression. Not a significant fact some might say, however why is this simple cause and effect missing from the educational material from many of the worlds’s Mental Health Associations ?

    Seems again big pharma does not want you to know the simple causes and treatments of some of these symptoms.

    The devil lies in the details, and especially the missing ones, and often ‘the 30 pieces of silver” betray THE TRUTH.

    (based on the book, THE JESUS CHRIST CODE )

  3. vinayak says:

    Thanks for sharing this info.

    Male suicides far outnumber female suicides in many developed and some developing countries … example India

    As far as I see, in India, married men commit far more suicides than un married ones

    Yes suicides are preventable

    God did not make us so that we can kill ourselves

    Our parents or this society did not bring us forth so that we can kill ourselves

    In addition to those who are dead and gone there are many more dying every day

    and before I part … yes some (men and women) see the tragic nature of married men’s lives ..many don’t

    PS :
    The statistics is strikingly similar in many respects … except probably the alcoholic issue may be more in colder climes than tropical ones (again a may be and I do not know this point for sure)


  4. Erin Pizzey says:

    My grandson commited suicide in Wandsworth prison. He was twenty two years old. He had drug related mental healthl problems and we could never get help for him. I know that men are far more likely to commit suicide because during the refuge years man of them did kill themselves when their woman and children left. IF 4,000 women a year died there would be an uproar but desperate men taking desperate measures are simply ignored. The major problem as |I see it in this country and across the Western world is that there are no sufficiently powerful men’s groups who are willing to bring this discussion to the attention of the government. Men in psoitions of power unlike women do nothing for other men. Until this changes I am concerned bit men’s issues like fathering, health, mental health and other issues will lie dormant and men will continue to suffer in silence.

    • glenpoole says:

      Hello Erin

      Thank you for sharing about your grandson – I didn’t know – and thank you for all you have done over the years – and yes I agree we need a much more effective, focussed and powerful men’s movement to bring all of these important matters to prominence and get them addressed



  5. ultimo167 says:

    The 90% mad statistic is one of those rubbery things that keeps bouncing back, despite the lack of evidence for it. That helps to perpetuate the myth that men who suicide were ‘secretly’ depressed or otherwise mentally ill when, of course, suicide has complex and multiple causative pathways.

    That women are more likely than men to attempt suicide but men are around four times more likely than women to complete suicide is an interesting point that says something about the effort men put into dying. I would argue that poor nurturing (and thus, poor attachment) as children and inflated expectations as adults are two critical factors that set men up for suicide.

    The idea that suicide is ‘100% preventable’ would have to be revised, since for one, what about those men (and women) for whom suicide becomes a reasonable choice in comparison to a life of intolerable suffering? Even a positive, general and targeted health promotion across the lifespan strategy would still not account for that substantial, ethical dilemma.

    And finally for now, last night I read a fascinating article by Braswell & Kushner (2012), ‘Suicide, Social Integration, and Masculinity in the U.S Military’, in which the authors progress a scathing critique of the military machine, including its capacity to contribute to the high suicide rate among servicemen through its ‘warrior culture’ (p.531).

    How many men who suicide had previously been trapped in untenably traumatic situations, be it the unloving home, the bullying school or workplace, or the horrific experience of combat, etc, with the perverse expectation that they just suck it all in…?

    • glenpoole says:

      Thanks for comments – there’s some really interesting work on suicide taking place within the US Army – they have been using a test to measure resilience and found that out of 84 soldiers who committed suicide – half of them were in the bottom 1% for this test

      So it seems we can identify a large proportion of the men who are most at risk – an if we can do that amongst those target groups – the excluded, those in care, the fatherless etc – we can then begin work to reduce their risk –

      Also in the North West of England we have a prevention project focussed on young males – and over a 10 year period suicide in that group went down by half – SO WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE – and yes maybe 100% prevention is never a goal to go for – but imagine if we just got men and women on an equal level (by reducing the male figures not increasing the female figures!!) how many lives would that transform

      Great to hear from you

  6. […] 12 men in the UK will commit suicide today which is one of the reasons the charity CALM is calling for a national campaign to tackle the issue – click here for more on this story or read our Killer Facts About Male Suicide post here. […]

  7. Lesley says:

    I dont know if Im too late for this thread but just wanted to make a couple of comments. Male suicide is indeed a silent killer that leads to tragic, unnecessary loss. My brother took his own life last year. I now know a lot of information I wish I had know at the time because like many others my brother was ringing the bell quite loudly but we couldnt hear what he was saying. In other words, as well as helping to connect men at vulnerable stages in their life, every one of us should know the signs of someone feeling suicidal. Thank you for this website and well done. Best. Lesley

    • glenpoole says:

      Thanks for your comments Lesley – deeply sorry to hear about your brother and thank you for taking time to share your experience with us hear – best Glen The Men’s Network

  8. […] Killer Facts About Male Suicide (Glen Poole) […]

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