In Michigan, men die 4 times more often from suicide than women, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among working-aged men ages 25-34 (fourth cause of those ages 35-49). Experts say several factors contribute to this, including men's tendencies to minimize suicide and depression warning signs. Because seeking traditional mental health services for help does not coincide with what is often the cultural definition of masculinity, many are left struggling in silence, feeling isolated and alone with their pain. Additionally, relationship problems, financial and job instability, and substance use can increase the risk of suicide among men.
Dr. Jodi Jacobson Frey, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, took note of these statistics. Together with partners from the National Action Alliance on Suicide Prevention (NAASP)’s Workplace Task Force, (Screening for Mental Health, Cactus Denver, and the Carson J Spencer Foundation, and Dr. Sally Spencer Thomas), applied for a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent suicide among working-age men in Michigan.