Ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday (September 10), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has summarised its latest statistics on the prevalence of this drastic act.
A total of 4,941 people ended their lives in England and Wales last year, the ONS explains, noting that the three demographic groups most at risk are: divorced people, men, and those living in economically disadvantaged areas. This naturally places divorced men in a particularly invidious position: in 2015 they were close three times more likely to take their own lives (27.4 per 100,000 compared to 9.6 per 100,000 divorced women).
The ONS quotes insights from the Samaritans into what puts men at particular risk. Amongst the key factors, they claim, are social isolation following divorce or separation; social expectations regarding masculinity; and the decline of once male-dominated industries across large swathes of the country.
Divorce can cut both spouses off from support networks and the family-orientated norms of the society around them, the charity explains.
“In addition, within western societies there is a strong cultural emphasis on achieving a strong and happy marriage, and those who divorce may experience a deep sense of disorientation, shame, guilt and emotional hurt.”
Read more here.