Mental Health and Suicide Prevention:

The Facts

Take action, stay connected, and look after your mental health.

Mental Health Stat 1

1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental health problem at some time in their life.

Mental Health Stat 2

510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.

Mental Health Stat 3

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Mental health: Why it matters for men

Things happen in life, like difficulties with work or finances, the breakdown of a relationship, overwhelming family responsibilities, or a significant setback. These challenges can take a serious toll on your mental health, if left unchecked. Many men tough it out and struggle alone.

Establishing and maintaining relationships, talking about the hard stuff in life and taking action when times are tough are proven ways for men stay mentally healthy and cope with the stress of everyday life. Good overall health and wellbeing is linked to not only to better mental health but also reduces the likelihood of suicide.

Some signs of poor mental health include feeling irritable, hopeless or worthless and behaviors such as aggression, drinking more than usual and isolating yourself from friends and family.

Some ways to look after your mental health

  • Do more of the things that make you feel great and help you to de-stress
  • Spend time with friends
  • Share what’s going on, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed

We need to talk

If you or someone you know are emotionally distressed or in crisis, the most important first step is to talk. Begin a conversation with a friend, family member, health professional or support service. Advice and effective tools are available.

Talking, listening and being there for someone doing it tough can be lifesaving. Check in if you know someone is going through a difficult time. Ask if they are doing okay and be prepared to listen.

If you or someone you know is at risk, contact your local crisis or emergency services.

Mental Health and Suicide

Untreated mental health conditions can carry a high risk for suicide among men. The distress a man experiences at these times can distort his thinking so it becomes harder for him to see possible solutions to problems, or to connect with those who can offer support.

There are a number of factors that have been linked to an increased risk of suicide, including:

  • Previous family or personal history of mental illness
  • Harmful drug and alcohol use
  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Ongoing stressful life situations such as unemployment, relationship difficulties or chronic health issues

Get immediate support


To speak with someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 0861 322 322

If life is in danger, call 000 or go directly to emergency services.

Childline South Africa

Childline South Africa provides immediate assistance on mental health problems including suicide via a crisis line 0800 055 555 or via online counselling.