“How’s Dad?”: Suicide Awareness for Men

It is not an epidemic that increases mortality rate for men- it is suicide. While social media is flooded with sympathies and prayers on a celebrity’s death, on an ordinary man- it is usually quiet.

In Canada- where suicide rates for men have been counting into 20 annually and sets a record of being thrice higher than women, part of this annual count- are dads.

Dad- the provider of the family. He spends his lifetime working hard to make sure that his kids will not suffer the same way he did. They are the ones who implements discipline and hardwork in our lives. They are in fact the biggest influencer we all could have. We respect them, we salute to them, we obey them, and sometimes, we follow their way of life.

According to the World Health Organization, Canadians under 25 years-old tend to choose death over living in times when crisis and pressure takes place in their life. While people believe that men are stronger than women, this causes ignorance towards paternal depression and anxiety.

Little did we know that dads are also the ones who have the biggest sufferings in the world. While they smile at us when they arrive home, they struggle alone when they are in the shower. And often, we only realize how much they suffered and acknowledge how much they did for us- when they already took their life away.

More than 40 Windsor-Essex County (WEC) residents died by suicide in 2011, where 75% are men with an age of 40 to 65.

When a person is trying their best to keep their job or to provide what their family needs, they tend to shrug off their own burdens to cope up with their schedules, deadlines, finances, and expenses. Men for instance are one of these. Men are really good in suppressing their emotions and hiding their struggles behind masks and hardwork. We mostly see them in their stories of success and their laughs when they get together with other dads. This helps them to conquer their own pain and face their families like nothing happened. But for some who only knew how to make a living and become the strength of a family, they have the highest tendency to facing their sufferings alone.

This is the moment that good mental health for men becomes necessary. It is time for the world to understand how much depression could result to suicide. This is the moment that we do not turn our back to those people who are suffering mentally. A simple act of kindness and a sincere question of, “How are you?” can definitely save a life.

You can prevent a person from committing suicide by guiding them for professional help.

The Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) in partnership with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) are promoting mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign. This month of September year 2020, the suicide prevention awareness month team, are planning to form a group of representatives from all sectors including Workplace, Health Services, Police and Emergency Services, Community, School Boards, and Post-Secondary Institutions.

As the saying goes “No man is an island”. You are not alone, and you can have someone to talk to. Connecting and communicating to Dads who had suicidal thoughts or those who had lost their loved ones can help those Dads who are having thoughts about committing suicide.

The Canadian government offers a service known as Crisis Service Canada. This is for people who are having a hard time with life and having thoughts of suicide. You can call or send them a text message to aid you with professional help. I call for Dads who are suffering from stress, depression, or suffering from mental health, we can help you with talking to us using Inkblot.

Suicide is not a small thing that we can just shrug off. It is an international issue that takes away the life of many dads in the world. It is an act that takes away the source of strength of every family and steals away the future of a growing child.

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