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Failure and low self-esteem drag KU males to contemplate suicide

By Leigh Boobyer Nov 28, 2015
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Monkey Business Images/REX Shutterstock (3958483a) Men Lying On Beds In Homeless Shelter VARIOUS

Male students at Kingston University are among those likely to contemplate suicide, a recent survey suggests.


A YouGov poll shows that men aged 18-24 have contemplated suicide because of a feeling of failure at work/college/school (47 per cent).


The poll of 677 men aged 18-24, carried out by the suicide prevention charity Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably), also shows that one in four men have never talked about their issues to anyone.


KU English literature student, Campbell Binning, 21, attempted to commit suicide three years ago. He said: “I felt like I could not speak to my parents about it, and to this day they do not know.


“For me it was a last resort, a moment of desperation. I did not want to be me anymore, I did not want to deal with everything I had to deal with and strongly believed I was not strong enough to deal with anything anymore.


The survey which was commissioned for the #BiggerIssues campaign suggests that 14% of men aged 18-24 who contemplated suicide didn’t tell anyone because they didn’t want them to “worry”.


Mr Binning added: “I think in some cases suicide is seen as a cry for help, but for me it was genuine. My tie snapped when I tried to hang myself – otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Not straight away, but after it failed the guilt was overwhelming.


“It was a genuine belief that I no longer wanted to be around…The fact I could see no escape, no end, a relentless wave of bad news was a major factor.”


A survey released by Samaritans, a 24/7 suicidal phone service, in July 2015 revealed that more than half (52 per cent) of 16-24 year-olds in the UK felt there was a stigma around admitting that you are struggling with something in life. This is despite two-fifths (40 per cent) saying they sometimes felt overwhelmed by their problems.


Young adults are the least likely to want to burden others with their problems and the most likely to feel ‘embarrassed’ or ‘weak’ if they do, the survey found, with a fifth (20 per cent) saying they feared they’d be seen as weird.


An anonymous Samaritans volunteer said: “The danger of a young person not speaking about their issues is that sometimes problems can appear to be magnified, a sense of isolation can grow, loneliness can increase, and hopelessness can take over. It takes real courage to disclose; some people can feel their problems are unimportant, or shameful and even repulsive for the listener and all these can hold people back from seeking support.


“Feelings of failure and low self-esteem are incredibly common amongst many 18-24 year old males and are both seriously high risk factors in cases of suicide-contemplation.


“Whilst it’s impossible to walk in someone else’s shoes entirely, it is fair to say that a person with expressed suicidal feelings may have become stuck and cannot see how to find another way of managing their issues other than to consider suicide.”

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