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Mid-life men struggle with identity and have higher suicide risk

Published on Sep 20, 2012 6:31 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Middle-aged men from disadvantaged backgrounds are 10 times more likely to commit suicide, often because they have lost a sense of identity and masculine pride, researchers said on Thursday.

In a report commissioned by the British helpline charity the Samaritans, health experts explored why men in their 30s, 40s and 50s are at such a substantially higher risk of ending their own lives.

The findings suggest suicide is not simply a mental health problem, the researchers said, but also one of men's place in societies and of societies' inability to adapt to men's needs when trying to deal with depression, anxiety and other problems.

"While suicide is mental health issue.... it is also a social and health inequality issue. This is unjust and unreasonable," said Mr Stephen Platt, a University of Edinburgh health policy research professor and trustee for the Samaritans, who presented the report at a briefing in Londo."

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