Men and the Samaritans

November 14, 2018 8:00 am Categorised in: ,
Ireland needs a plan to support men's mental health -

Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide. We work to achieve this by making it our mission to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour, particularly in high-risk groups like middle-aged men.  


Men and Suicide Risks


Latest statistics show that of the 399 people who died by suicide in 2016, 318 were men and the suicide rate was highest among men aged 45-54. We know that some groups of men are more at risk than others, and middle-aged men living in more deprived areas are at greater risk.


Suicide is complex and there are a range of psychological, social, cultural and economic factors that influence suicide risk. There is rarely one single reason that leads a person to take their own life. 



What the Research Shows


Our research has shown that things such as relationship breakdown, masculinity and comparing themselves against a ‘gold standard’, not being able to or wanting to talk about emotions, and not having the same social network that women have are factors that increase risk in this group. 


Personality traits – such as social perfectionism and self-criticism – also interact with these factors to increase risk. 


Samaritans volunteers across the country work with communities, groups and organisations, like the Irish Men’s Sheds Association and the GAA, to target men when they may be most in need of emotional support. 


Last year our volunteers answered 625,000 phone calls, replied to 25,000 text messages, and reached out to tens of thousands of people in need in communities, at festivals, in schools and prisons. 


Who Can Call


You don’t have to be suicidal to call, text, email or seek face-to-face support in your local Samaritans branch. People can talk to us anytime they like, in their own way – about whatever’s getting to them. 


Call freephone 116 123, text 087 260 9090 or email