By Janessa Rutiaga
Blog Content Contributor
International Men’s Day has been celebrated on the 19th of November since 1992, and stands to focus on men’s health, gender relations and the acknowledgment of positive male role models. This year, International Men’s Day has a theme of stopping male suicide and a goal of promoting awareness of the rising epidemic of male suicide rates. Their solution for this rising problem is summarized in three words: learn, love and listen.
In almost every country in the world, the suicide rate for men is three times higher than that of women. The only country which it isn’t higher is China; but even then, it’s equal to that of women. When it comes to Russia, the rate is six times higher than that of women. Although researchers haven’t found the cause for the rising epidemic of male suicide, the goal of International Men’s Day is promote awareness.
Glen Poole, United Kingdom’s International Men’s Day coordinator, has written a book entitled “Stop Male Suicide”. International Men’s Day is using this book as a stepping stone to help highlight the staggering difference between men and women’s health and suicide rates. As well as having higher suicide rates, men’s health world wide is much worse than women’s.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), men have a lower life expectancy compared to women. While women have a life expectancy of 73, men’s life expectancy only reaches 67. The deplorable state of men’s, as well as young boys, health has had almost no recognition throughout the world, even though more and more evidence proving men’s low health compared to women’s has surfaced. WHO reports that the low health of men is due to occupational hazards, health behavior related to gender norms (risk takers) and that men are less likely to visit a professional and report any symptoms they might be having.
The International Men’s Day coordinators chose learn, love and listen as their solution to these problems because they want the community to learn more, love more and listen more. Learn more about the medical and emotional problems men face; love more freely, emotionally and spiritually; Listen more from yourself, to men, and from different perspectives.
Together, we can close the suicide and medical health gaps between men and women. For more information on where to donate, find more information on how to help, and get involved visit the International Men’s Day website.
Featured image by Tafari Robertson.