Stress Has Caused 'More Than A Third Of Scotsmen To Feel Suicidal'

7 November 2018, 05:34

Depression

More than a third of Scottish men have experienced suicidal thoughts as a result of feeling stressed, according to a report.

The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) Scotland study also indicated men were more likely to turn to alcohol as a result of high stress levels.

The survey, commissioned by YouGov, examines the impact stress can have on men across Scotland and highlights the warning signs of men's mental ill health.

Uncertainty over jobs was cited as a key reason leading to stress.

Statistics published today show 37% of the 486 men surveyed have felt suicidal due to stress.

Nearly a third of men in Scotland (31%) said they had started drinking alcohol or increased the amount of alcohol they drank in order to cope.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter said not having enough money to meet basic needs was a major cause of stress.

The statistics suggested the impact of stress could be seen on both a physical and psychological level, with more than half (53%) saying stress had an impact on sleep, while 56% reported feelings of anxiety as a result of stress in their lives.

Head of MHF Scotland Lee Knifton said: "Men are still less likely to open up to a family member or a friend when feeling stressed.

"While stress isn't a mental health problem it can lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and tragically, suicide.

"We know that some of the ways that men are dealing with stress - such as alcohol and drugs - can often intensify underlying feelings.

"We all have a responsibility to shift the culture and talk to the men in our lives.

"If you are worried about someone in your life who is going through a hard time, talking is the first step."

Frances Beck's 24-year-old son Conor took his own life earlier this year.

She said: "Conor was in the second year of his degree course at university and, like many young people, was under a great deal of stress for several reasons.

"This took its toll on his mental health and, if not caused, definitely worsened his depression.

"There is no shame in talking about how you feel and seeking help, and if you have the courage to do so, you will encourage others to do the same.

"There is a misheld belief that doing so will make you less of a man.

"This couldn't be further from the truth. It's too late for Conor and there is nothing I can do to bring him back but I really hope our story encourages others to seek the help they need before it's too late."

MHF Scotland is encouraging men to come together this Men's Health Awareness Month and open up about stress and mental health with the people around them to prevent problems escalating.