BBC: Suicide risk greatest for low skilled male workers

Our thanks to Keith for this. The headline (above) is encouraging, especially for the BBC, but because it’s the BBC, even in the area of suicide (78% of victims are men) there needs to be some obfuscation. The start of the piece:

Men working in the lowest-skilled occupations and women health professionals are at the highest risk of suicide, according to new research.

Figures also show construction workers killed themselves at a rate three times higher than the male average.

For women, people in culture, media and sport had a rate 69% higher than the female average.

Many people don’t go beyond the first few lines of media reports. So they’d miss what follows. Another excerpt:

The raw numbers showed 1,047 male suicides were of people in the construction or building trade.

Cynically, the report writer has excluded the categories ‘elementary construction’ (c. 380 male suicides) and ‘building finishing (c. 350 male suicides). The total number of suicides among men in the construction or building trade is therefore around 1,777. This excludes the ‘electrician’ category, although a substantial poportion of electricians work in the construction or building trade.

The 1,777 male suicides can be compared with the profession with the most female suicides, caring – 273 suicides over the same period.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Groan

    As always the “empathy gap” but a really important point indeed. That suicide like clinical stress (as opposed to the stresses of daily life) is much more likely in workers as opposed to “toffs” , in men. Of course the issue here is not only that these are often low paid but that they tend not to be salaried but “contracted” in various ways so aren’t secure and really crucially are jobs that affect physical health adversely and frequently the “career” ends in the 50s leaving the stress of money and seeking other work as well as poor physical health. “Care” tends to have similarities though the conditions aren’t nearly extreme there are a lot of back problems etc. One thing that isn’t mentioned is that although in general “work” is good for people in terms of health, in fact the health data is that for men in the “glass cellar” the reverse is true and this is just one instance of that.

    I will look into the female figures more closely because they are “anomalous” in having high incidence(comparatively) in comfortable careers.