Middle-Aged Men's Experiences of Mental Health and Suicide

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Essex undertook research into middle aged men and suicide to understand their experiences, what contributes to suicidal behaviour and how prevention support could be improved.  They interviewed 9 men.

The men reported that various events, experiences in their lives and cumulative pressures contributed to their development of suicidal thoughts.  They experienced various types of pressure, including societal burden, stigma around mental health, life events, work life and the accumulation of pressure. The participants felt that men’s role in society and attitudes to gender roles had changed, but they felt bound by traditional views of masculinity when it came to seeking help. 

The men’s failure to speak about their distress heightened feelings of worthlessness.  They couldn’t imagine a positive future and viewed themselves as a burden on their family and friends.  They felt that suicide was the solution to their pain and would relieve their families of their burden.

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General details

Report title 
Middle-Aged Men's Experiences of Mental Health and Suicide
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Essex
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 24 May, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 September, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 October, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Focus group
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
9
Age group 
25-64 years
65-85 years
Gender 
Male
Sexual orientation 
Heterosexual
Homosexual
Other
Prefer not to say
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Neutral

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
No
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.