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Mental health: how to spot suicide risk


Men make three times fewer suicide attempts than women but die three times more. Prevention and listening are essential.

Male suicide is terribly “efficient”.

“In France, men die three times more from suicide than women,

recalls Fabrice Jollant, professor of psychiatry at the University of Paris-Saclay and at the CHU de Bicêtre.

On the other hand, the relationship is reversed when we look at the attempts.

Men often choose more lethal means (firearms, defenestration, hanging, etc.) than women, who are inclined to choose means that leave fewer traces and from which one can escape.

Male excess mortality by suicide is almost universal and affects all age groups.

It has not been particularly affected by the health crisis.

Indeed, the report of the National Suicide Observatory published last September evaluating the impact of the pandemic on mental health reveals, of course, an increase in the number of suicide attempts in 2021, but which mainly affects adolescent girls and young women.

Read alsoBetter understand suicide to better prevent it

What are the foundations of male acting out?

A high level of aggressiveness and impulsiveness is sometimes put forward, as well as higher alcohol consumption, 15% of men being affected by daily alcohol consumption compared to only 6% of women in France ( Insee 2019).

“Alcohol not only affects mental health, domestic violence, unemployment, etc., but it is an important suicidal risk factor, which helps to remove the brakes on acting out”, underlines Fabrice

Jollant .

The lesser recourse to psychological assistance and psychiatric care - men being almost twice as likely as women to consult - would also be in question.

"If fewer depressions and anxiety disorders are diagnosed in men, it is probably because they express their uneasiness in other ways, in particular through aggressive or risky behavior or through recourse to alcohol and drugs,”

notes Fabrice Jollant.

However, mental health indicators have been deteriorating since 2021.

Read alsoSuicide: “The risk of acting out is multiplied by two or three among bereaved relatives”

If there are signs of depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts, it is important to talk about them.

I have the feeling that young men are more comfortable with this idea, and that mental illness is less of a taboo”,

welcomes the psychiatrist.

Following the example of celebrities like Stromae, Bruce Springsteen or swimming champion Michael Phelps, they would more easily evoke their flaws.

“Support must be multimodal,”

he adds.

Worried about the deterioration of the psychiatric care system in a troubled context (war in Ukraine, inflation), he nevertheless welcomes the positive effects of the launch of the national suicide prevention strategy in 2018 and that of a free national number in 2021.

“If you or a loved one have suicidal thoughts, do not hesitate to call 3114 to ask for help,”

he insists.

Source: lefigaro

All tech articles on 2023-03-29

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