Working class men who have more than one child and who are over 45 years old are at particular risk and the government had actually planned to launch a suicide prevention strategy last week, but sadly decided to postpone this until September. I guess they felt they were too busy making sure the bankers and lords were OK to worry very much about working class fathers...
The coalition's cuts are having a particularly devastating effect on men. The loss of jobs and slashing back of tax credits hits them particularly hard for a number of reasons.
- Studies show that men tend to gain self-esteem from getting respect from their peer group, in other words going to work - Women are more likely to gain self-esteem from their personal relationships than from the work they do - our brains are hardwired quite differently in this respect.
- A man in his 40s who loses his job can experience not only the sense of shame of not being able to provide for his family and maintain everyone's living standards, but also the loss of a sense of purpose.
- Men who lose their jobs also often experience a loss of identity as their whole lives have been geared up to being a good reliable family man who provides the things needed for a comfortable stress free life.
Wait till we get to winter and added to all our current worries will be those rocketing fuel bills... and petrol duty of course set to rise in January. They say that people only overthrow governments at the point where a significant number are struggling to feed their families and keep them warm.
It feels like we're actually edging ever closer to that day...............