By Rudi Araujo
“What’s up buddy?”
“How have you been?”
“What’s going on?”
These seem like simple conversation starters, but research from the Centre for Suicide Prevention shows that men often forget to check in on their friends or have a hard time recognizing when a buddy is struggling and what they could do to help. In Canada, three out of four deaths by suicide are men. According to Statistics Canada, in 2019, out of 451 suicides in British Columbia, 349 were male-identifying.
A lot of men, especially middle-aged men (40-60), grow up socialized to think that they have to provide for their families, be strong, and not show emotion. Society creates binary structures and divides masculine and feminine qualities and this ends up putting a lot of pressure on men. This is a group that often deals with stress and pain alone and in silence. Having a hard time to seek help, after all a man shouldn’t feel “less than”, suicide eventually seems like the only solution to all problems.
June is Buddy Up month, an initiative by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. As a society, there is more we can do to help prevent suicide and we must get better at reaching out to men. Look for signs of struggle and help your coworker, family member or friend who is in need. Talk about suicide and call the Crisis Centre line together.
During Buddy Up month you can join a challenge that promotes mental wellbeing and there is a chance to win some prizes.
If you or someone you know is struggling, especially with thoughts of suicide, reach out:
- Vancouver Coastal Regional Distress Line: 604-872-3311
- Anywhere in BC 1-800-SUICIDE: 1-800-784-2433
- Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789
- Online Chat Service for Youth: www.YouthInBC.com (Noon to 1am)
- Online Chat Service for Adults: www.CrisisCentreChat.ca (Noon to 1am)