STUMP » Articles » Movember Fundraising: Men and Suicide » 30 November 2021, 04:29

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Movember Fundraising: Men and Suicide  

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30 November 2021, 04:29

It’s Giving Tuesday, and yes, I will piggyback on it like everybody else.

Unfortunately, I do not have happy news for today. I’m actually going to avoid digging into 2020-2021 stats today, because I don’t want to. Supposedly, suicide rates dropped during the pandemic…. but I think it’s because COVID (and some other things) killed people before suicide did. I will be doing separate posts about 2020-2021 trends another time.

So yeah, if you want to exit right now, I will shake the donation can at you before you go:

Please donate to my Movember fundraiser: Movember Foundation focuses on men’s health issues, particularly on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

My fundraising page at the Movember site is here: Mary Pat Campbell’s Movember fundraising site.

I also have a facebook fundraiser page, if that’s easier for you: Mary Pat’s facebook fundraiser

There are matches going on through both links (though limited, obviously), so early in the day is more likely to get a match than later in the day.

Suicide and men: the bad trend

I’ve shown this trend graph earlier:

As I wrote earlier, prostate cancer mortality has improved a great deal due to improved detection — but suicide, as a trend, has gotten worse.

What is driving this trend?

The age group trend of suicide rates

The biggest thing driving the overall trend is how it breaks out by age:

The two oldest age groups, age 75-84 and age 85+, have had the highest suicide rates for all the age groups.

(Note: I do not look at age groups under age 25 — part of it is lack of continuity in definition of age groups over my data sets, part of it is too many lines on my graph, and a very large part of it is that the highest suicide rates are for older folks. While a lot of suicide resources do focus on kids and teens, they have very low suicide rates compared to adults.)

It gets to be a jumble below that.

However, you can kind of see how the age-adjusted death rate trend has worsened of late — because suicide death rates for younger men have been climbing. In particular, for men under age 55.

Looking more closely at the age trend

There are a lot of lines intersecting in the graph above, so I decided to take slices of this graph — at the two end points, 1968 and 2019, and then at a year in the middle, 1994.

Let’s look at the rate trend for those over age 55 — the suicide death rates in 2019 are lower than they were in 1968. There has been an improvement.

But under age 55, we have a different story.

Indeed, from age 25 to 64, we see a flattening of the suicide death rate, as we have a rate in 1968 which was fairly low rising up to a level similar to that of much older men.

As I’ve said about other mortality trends — in many cases, I can’t tell you why this is happening. I don’t know. I can just see that it is happening. And I would like to do something about it.

How is this a men’s issue? The sex gap in suicide

I am going to be comparing two ratios: the age-adjusted suicide rate of men versus women; and the age-adjusted death rate for men (all causes) versus women.

The ratio between male and female death rates has been pretty stable for all causes of death — it’s been at 1.4 in recent years.

The ratio of age-adjusted death rates due to suicide has been more variable, and the disparities have been large. In recent years, it’s been near 4.

In general, for common causes of death, such as heart disease and cancer, men have much higher death rates than women… but generally not at 4 times the rate. This is an extremely large disparity.

So you can see that this is acute for men. There are a variety of reasons for this disparity, and as you can see, this is a problem of long standing.

This is why I support causes like Movember Foundation, which focuses on the problem. They have resources for men’s mental health, providing information and help. Go check it out!

Movember fundraising

Just hitting you up again, to save you the scrolling back to the top.

Please donate!

My fundraising page at the Movember site is here: Mary Pat Campbell’s Movember fundraising site.

I also have a facebook fundraiser page, if that’s easier for you: Mary Pat’s facebook fundraiser

Thanks for your support!

Prior Movember posts:

I will do a wrap-up next week to look at our successes.


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