CPR First Aid

What Are the Unexpected Risks of Masculinity?

A study supported by different institutes in Australia found a connection between masculinity and suicidal ideation in young males. It concludes that norms of violence and self-reliance contribute to negative thoughts about taking their own lives. The Australian Bureau of Statistics lists the key mental health issues that relate to or lead to this. But the aforementioned research suggests maximising adolescent health and encouraging help-seeking to benefit the broad population of males. So, if you belong or you know someone in this gender type, read further to find more details about the study. It also discusses the help available, breaking gender stereotypes, and how to respond if you think someone is in a mental health crisis.

What is the Connection Between Masculinity and Suicidal Ideation?

A study posted in the National Library of Medicine found that there is evidence showing associations between elements of masculinity and suicidal ideation. Its subjects were 829 Australian young men aged 15 to 20 years old from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health. Its results show that there is greater conformity to violent and self-reliant norms associated with higher odds of reporting suicidal ideation.

A study posted in the National Library of Medicine found that there is evidence showing associations between elements of masculinity and suicidal ideation. Its subjects were 829 Australian young men aged 15 to 20 years old from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health. Its results show that there is greater conformity to violent and self-reliant norms associated with higher odds of reporting suicidal ideation.

What is Masculinity?

VicHealth defines masculinity as behaviours, attitudes, and sets of practices that dictate what men and boys should be and how they should act. It’s a health website of The Victorian Government.

What is Suicidal Ideation?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare describes suicidal ideation as the thoughts of taking one’s own life. AIHW also states it means an attempt to commit suicide. The same government agency links to the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. It shows statistics on the key mental health issues in Australia.

What Do the Statistics Show Regarding the Unexpected Risks of Masculinity?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the following 2020 to 2021 data on men’s key mental health issues. The below may relate to the unexpected risks of masculinity

  • Double the rate of Substance Use disorder compared to females common among 16 to 24-year-olds
  • Almost one-third of males aged 16-24 years had a one-year mental disorder
  • Young boys aged 16 to 24 years old have the highest rate of anxiety disorder among all age groups
  • Social phobia is the most common type of anxiety disorder
  • 25 to 34 years olds had the highest rate of affective disorder with a depressive episode as the most common type
  • 16 to 34-year-old males had the highest rate of high psychological distress
  • Committed more suicidal thoughts and behaviours over plans and attempts
  • 16 years old to 34 years olds had the most self-harm and binge-eating behaviours among all age groups
  • Had a lesser rate of seeking professional help than the females

The data above shows that men aged 16 to 34 years old are the ones who experience mental health issues the most.

What Help is Available to Manage the Unexpected Risk of Masculinity?

Aside from the aforementioned study’s suggestion of maximising health, it also encourages men to ask for help when needed. The following hotlines are available in Australia to help you or your loved one in case of a mental health crisis.

Organisation Mission Landline Website
Lifeline Provide support and services for crisis help and suicide prevention 13 11 14 lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service Telephone counselling in times of crisis 1300 659 467 suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Beyond Blue Support for those experiencing anxiety, depression, and thinking about committing suicide. 1300 224 636 beyondblue.org.au
MensLine Australia Services to support men’s issues available anywhere in the country 1300 789 978 mensline.org.au
Kids Helpline Counselling online or via telephone for people aged 5 to 25 years old 1800 551 800 kidshelpline.com.au
ReachOut Online support for the mental health of people aged under 25 and their parents au.reachout.com
National Alcohol and Other Drugs Hotline Support for anyone experiencing problems from alcohol and drugs 1800 250 015
Family Drug Support Help for those dealing with drug and alcohol use 1300 368 186 fds.org.au
1800RESPECT Information and support service for National domestic, family and sexual violence counselling 1800 737 732 1800respect.org.au
13YARN Support line for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander 13 92 76 13yarn.org.au
StandBy – Support After Suicide Assists affected families of those who committed suicide 1300 727 247 standbysupport.com.au

Save these hotline numbers and bookmark their websites for easier reference when needed.

What are the Ways to Break Gender Stereotypes To Reduce the Unexpected Risks of Masculinity?

The Parliament of Australia reports on the following matters about gender stereotypes on its website.

  • The marketing and messages of the following contribute to the role of gender stereotypes in cultural conditions.
    • Toys and other products
    • Education
    • Entertainment
  • Teaching the younger people about building respectful relationships 
  • Improving gender equality more broadly in the higher education

Normalising the R U OK Day in our daily lives may also help start conversations and make a difference in someone’s life.

What Can You Do If You Think Someone is Suffering from the Unexpected Risks of Masculinity?

People may find it hard to ask others or confirm suspicions of hardships. Especially since society expects men to be strong and refrain from showing weakness. But, if you or you know someone who is suffering from the unexpected risks of masculinity, don’t be afraid. Find people to talk about it, open up to a mental health expert, or suggest other guys unpacking mental first aid kits.

What are the Ways to Help Treat the Results of the Unexpected Risks of Masculinity?

A mental health professional may have the best advice on how to manage the challenges of being a man. But, if you are seeing signs of self-harm, offer to treat it with first aid if it is still possible. Training from CPR First Aid (RTO NO 21903) will help you perform many first aid responses. An online free course is available on its website and its training locations throughout Australia hold in-person lectures. 

Conclusion

A study concluded that there is a connection between masculinity and suicidal ideation. Statistics support that men suffer from many mental health conditions. Hotline numbers and websites for support are available throughout Australia if you need help. Breaking gender stereotypes may help reduce the unexpected risks of masculinity. Starting conversations, offering help, and preparing your first-aid skills may help those who suffer the pressures of being a man.

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