[WATCH] Almost 9 out of ten suicides in Malta completed by men

The majority of suicides in Malta are completed by men latest statistics reveal 

Men make up 88% of all suicides in Malta
Men make up 88% of all suicides in Malta

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca stressed on Monday the importance of society fighting the notion that men must be tough and avoid seeking help. She said that with men making up 88% of all suicides in the country since 2010, society urgently needed to reframe its message. 

Coleiro Preca was speaking at the official launch of a video ahead of World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, where she stressed the importance of mental wellbeing and understanding why men were predominantly affected by suicide. 

“It is important that we encourage our men and boys to seek emotional support and to speak openly about their challenges without shame,” Coleiro Preca said. 

The video produced by the President's Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society (PFWS) was made specifically to target men and boys who in today's society are bombarded by subliminal messages that 'men don't cry'. 

The latest statistics presented to the Parliament reveal that the police registered 223 suicides between January 2010 and June 2018, of which 194 cases were men.

PFWS director general Ruth Farrugia said this year the foundation felt compelled to address the alarming rate of males suicides through the medium of a video.

“This is an aspect of mental health that is rarely mentioned or acknowledged, but is a subject that many of us have been affected by in one way or another,” Dr Farrugia said.

“The President’s Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society has always provided safe spaces where people from different backgrounds and life experiences can share what affects their wellbeing; mental health has always been high on our list,” she added.

According to John Cachia, Menal Health Commissioner research shows that in Malta, and around the world, being a men often means learning to suppress emotions.

“Men do want to seek help, and will engage in treatment if they are given the type of help tailored to their needs. Seeking care and support should be a pathway towards empowerment rather than something shameful,” Cachia said.

Cachia warned that the Data indicated that men are slipping through the cracks, and that attention needed to be given to raise awareness on an individual level, within families and across societies.  

“Men must be reminded that improving their mental health and well-being will help them move forward and positively impact the lives of those around them. Constructive action is about understanding how social relationships are the key to preventing mental illness,” Cachia said.