Danger and restoration components in male suicide: is society failing males?


In most developed international locations, male suicides are extra widespread than feminine suicides, at round a thrice larger fee (Lengvenyte et al, 2021; Turecki et al, 2019). Males are much less more likely to search assist from professionals, usually on account of conventional, socially constructed masculine norms (Seidler et al, 2016).

While quantitative analysis can decide who’s most prone to suicide, understanding why that is could be far more complicated, not least as a result of suicide itself is a posh behaviour with a variety of elements combining, and appearing independently. Qualitative work is required to additional perceive the pathways and mechanisms that contribute to suicide.

This weblog summarises a current systematic evaluation of qualitative proof exploring the chance and restoration components for male suicide globally (Bennett et al, 2023).

Male suicides are more likely to happen compared to female suicides in developed countries, but why?

Male suicides usually tend to occur in comparison with feminine suicides in developed international locations, however why?


Bennett and colleagues (2023) searched seven databases for qualitative research to grasp widespread themes and psychological phenomena underpinning male suicide threat and restoration, perceived and skilled by males who’re suicidal, and other people bereaved by male suicide. As soon as articles had been screened, reference looking out on included research was carried out.

The evaluation regarded solely at research exploring adult-aged males, outlined as 18 and over, utilizing research from 2000 to 2020. Solely revealed work was looked for, justified as a way of high quality management.

The screening was carried out by one reviewer on the title and summary stage, with 20% of the titles/abstracts screened by two unbiased reviewers. An analogous technique was used at full-text screening. The standard of the papers was assessed utilizing the Nationwide Institute for Well being and Care Excellence (NICE) high quality appraisal guidelines for qualitative research.

Information evaluation occurred by way of coding of every article which led to descriptive themes being recognized, which generated analytical themes used for the qualitative meta-synthesis.


The authors recognized 78 research protecting a inhabitants of no less than 1,695 people, of whom 902 have been suicidal and 793 had been bereaved. There have been 16 research every from Norway and the UK; 14 have been from low- and middle-income international locations.

An outline of the rising themes included within the evaluation is offered within the desk beneath. The authors have developed two fashions to signify the findings for threat and restoration individually.

  • The threat mannequin suggests some psychological ache and threat could also be decided by denial, disconnection, and dysregulation within the domains of feelings, self, and interpersonal connections.
  • In the meantime, the restoration mannequin means that recognising, reconnecting with, and regulating these phenomena could support in decreasing the ache and the chance. The authors additionally discovered that proximal threat components have been heightened manifestations of distal ones.
Elements Overarching Theme Descriptive Theme
Danger Norms of emotional suppression Emotional suppression and dysregulated psychological ache

Childhood adversities have an effect on emotional improvement

Assist-seeking rejected as weak

Damaging experiences accessing psychological well being care

Ineffective coping methods exacerbate ache

Suicide related to insupportable psychological ache

Suicide related to hopelessness, defeat and entrapment

Danger Failing to satisfy norms of male success Failed masculine selves and aversive self-awareness

Efficiency of self to hide misery

Childhood adversities have an effect on vanity

Suicide related to killing of a failed self

Suicide related to regaining management

Danger Norms that suppress males’s interpersonal wants Interpersonal disconnection, isolation and loneliness

Interpersonal challenges and dysregulation

Struggling to belief

Suicide related to interpersonal stressors and losses

Suicide related to insufferable isolation and loneliness

Suicide related to perceived burdensomeness

Proximal Indicators of suicide threat difficult to learn

Restoration Regulating psychological ache Emotional regulation and management

Interpersonal care and connection

Peer connection and expansive masculine selves

Being revered and valued by professionals

Contextualized suicidal ache

Gender norms and perceived failure as a man appear to have an influential role in male suicide.

Gender norms and perceived failure as a person seem to have an influential position in male suicide.


Suicide prevention should goal to deal with many various components that may enhance the chance of suicide, while needing to imagine gender-sensitive interventions and insurance policies that embody the position of masculine norms in society. Exploring the restoration components that help (from a number of avenues) is essential. The findings reiterate the complexity of suicide but additionally that some suicide dangers might be distinctive to every particular person, every with their very own experiences of the dangers described.

The authors conclude:

Findings from this evaluation counsel that deepening our understanding of sure masculine norms, and the way they could hurt some males may very well be crucial to shaping efficient male suicide prevention work.

Understanding and encompassing masculine norms is a key area for suicide prevention.

Understanding masculine norms is a key space for suicide prevention.

Strengths and limitations

One of many important strengths of this evaluation is the meta-synthesis that accompanies the systematic evaluation of qualitative research. It permits a deeper understanding of the themes recognized within the evaluation and creates a much bigger, extra linked image of the complexity of suicide.

Equally, a energy of this evaluation is a bit acknowledging the position lived expertise could have in a number of the interpretations of the evaluation, and the way the authors have applied a rigorous methodology to keep away from private biases influencing the outcomes.

One main limitation is the dearth of inclusion of non-English language research. Suicide has the best burden in low- and middle-income international locations, the place English is much less more likely to be spoken, due to this fact, this evaluation could largely deal with threat components for males in higher-income international locations; slightly below a fifth of research recognized weren’t carried out in international locations designated as excessive earnings. Equally, while not a limitation of the evaluation itself, however moderately a limitation of the out there proof, outcomes and conclusions are primarily based mostly on White and cis-gendered people. Due to this, the outcomes might not be generalisable to different communities, which account for a lot of the inhabitants worldwide; the teams not represented could also be at a better threat of suicide.

This review is mainly based on data from White participants, preventing the findings from applying to other racial demographics.

This evaluation is especially based mostly on knowledge from White contributors, stopping the findings from making use of to different racial demographics.

Implications for observe

The evaluation itself provides a number of areas the place this work may very well be translated into observe and the place the present methods are missing in effectiveness. Completely different methods and interventions concentrating on totally different teams are mandatory. These embrace: a) interventions for at-risk people comparable to therapeutic help, b) non-clinical interventions, comparable to neighborhood help and c) medical interventions with gender-sensitive and competent clinicians. For medical professionals, there’s a must help males to grasp and regulate feelings and suicidal ache. This help wants to return with out judgment and pity; there must be a sense of steadiness inside the therapeutic relationship.

There are threat and restoration components which can be exhibited in males who’ve skilled suicidal ideas, emotions, or makes an attempt and other people bereaved by male suicide. Norms constructed by society seem continuously as a threat issue. The proof could be thought of by clinicians throughout assessments, formulation of a remedy plan, and decision-making to assist suicide prevention on this inhabitants. The place these threat components are current, the thorough exploration of protecting components, comparable to significant relationships and help techniques, is required alongside a complete threat plan. Danger components for suicide can hardly ever be understood in isolation, with seemingly interplay of experiences between and inside the themes recognized, additional reiterating the complexity of suicide.

There’s a stark want for added quantitative and qualitative analysis on suicide in males to additional perceive the mechanisms and pathways of suicide, significantly in teams usually underrepresented in present suicide analysis. The authors of the evaluation spotlight 22 totally different areas they’ve recognized that require additional analysis to enhance information and validate their findings. These embrace analysis concentrating on the overall inhabitants to grasp the norms of masculinity and to grasp social representations of suicide in addition to different analysis concentrating on at-risk males, companies, vital others, and the neighborhood to extend the physique of analysis on the areas recognized as threat and restoration components. Further analysis is required on extra various teams, consultant of the worldwide inhabitants.

Risk factors, such as gendered narratives of masculinity within society, need to be taken into account during assessment, formulation, and intervention with men.

Danger components, comparable to gendered narratives of masculinity inside society, should be taken under consideration throughout evaluation, formulation, and intervention with males.

Assertion of pursuits

No conflicts of curiosity.


Major paper

Bennett, S., Robb, Ok. A., Zortea, T. C., Dickson, A., Richardson, C., & O’Connor, R. C. (2023). Male suicide threat and restoration components: A scientific evaluation and qualitative meta-synthesis of 20 years of analysisPsychological Bulletin, 149(7-8), 371–417.

Different references

Lengvenyte, A., Conejero, I., Courtet, P., & Olié, E. (2021). Organic bases of suicidal behaviours: A story evaluation. European Journal of Neuroscience, 53(1), 330–351.

Seidler ZE, Dawes AJ, Rice SM, Oliffe JL, Dhillon HM. The position of masculinity in males’s help-seeking for melancholy: A scientific evaluation. Clin Psychol Rev. 2016 Nov;49:106-118.

Turecki G, Brent DA, Gunnell D, et al. Suicide and suicide threat. Nature Evaluations Illness Primers 2019 5:1. 2019;5(1):1-22.

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