Suicide has for many years been the leading cause of death of males between the ages of 15 and 49, but the government fails to recognize it as a highly gendered issue. £1.5 million is being spent on five studies into suicide, none of which are charged with investigating male suicide specifically. All too often health ministers speak of suicide only in mental health terms, in effect victim blaming.
We covered the issue of suicide in our 2015 general election manifesto (pp. 46-8). The male:female suicide differential more than doubled between 1983 and 2013, from 1.7:1 to 3.5:1, mainly as a result of a major fall in the female suicide rate.
Last year the International Business Times published my article on male suicide – here.
The Health Committee of the House of Commons has 11 MPs, 8 of whom are women, including the chair, Dr Sarah Wollaston (C, Totnes). The committee recently announced an inquiry on suicide prevention, our blog piece on the matter – with links to the inquiry website – is here. The terms of reference include the following:
The factors influencing the increase in suicide rates, with a focus on particularly at-risk groups.
Last month I sent a written submission to the inquiry, here.
I’ve asked to give oral evidence to the inquiry, and I should know the outcome of that request in the next week or two. My last appearance before a House of Commons Select Committee was in 2012, an inquiry into ‘Women in the Workplace’. The video (56:50) is here.
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