It’s now over a week since British-American model, actor and musician Sam Sarpong passed due to an apparent suicide. Like everyone else I was in so much shock, I remember meeting his sister June about a month before and she was speaking about her brother as any proud sister would. Whenever I would see him on TV he exuded confidence, happiness and humour- so this sudden news was really hard for me to comprehend. It made question why? How long had he been feeling depressed? This ‘strong black man’ depressed?
Apart from contributing in BBC Three’s Professor Green: Suicide and Me (where I gained more insight into suicide &male population) https://www.facebook.com/bbcthree/videos/10153336932165787/. I did my own research on the facts about suicide that we hardly talk about. Here are 6 points that may change your perception on suicide and gender stereotypes which helped me answer some questions I had but of course it’s so complex there’s not an answer for every question.
- In 2013 the rate of male suicides were higher than females and it is an ongoing trend. Of those who died by suicide in 2013, 77.9% were male and 22.1% were female. (According to afsp – US only)
- “Suicide is complex. It usually occurs gradually, progressing from suicidal thoughts, to planning, to attempting suicide and finally dying by suicide.” Source: International Association for Suicide Prevention
- Approximately an hour ago (10.00pm 05.11.15)UK Members of Parliament have declared that male suicide is now a national public health emergency.
- Samaritans charity: Males seem to choose more ‘final’ and definite ways of suicide than females.
- Men feel weak if they express their despair, depression or anxiety and tend to keep it to themselves in an endless effort to appear more masculine according to society’s standards.
- Eight out of ten suicides in the UK are males.