Male suicide addressed by Vancouver photo exhibition
People who have been personally affected by the suicide of a man in their life have banded together to express their sorrow in a photo exhibition opening Thursday in Vancouver.
Suicide is the leading cause of death among men aged 25-29 and 40-44, according to University of B.C. men’s health expert Dr. John Oliffe, who is leading the project entitled Man-Up Against Suicide.
Oliffe said that although women attempt suicide more often, men kill themselves at a rate of three to four times that of women by using more effective methods.
A silent fog also remains around the subject, Oliffe said.
“It’s been a difficult topic to broach,” he said. “It’s been wrapped up in a lot of stigma and a lot of stoicism as well.”
He said religion and machismo attitudes could result in keeping the conversation sidelined, which contributes to men not being diagnosed with depression, which can lead to suicidal thoughts.
Male depression rates have increased in recent years with the dive in the economy, and Oliffe said that’s because economic pressures often fall on the shoulders of men.
The photo exhibition is made up of shots from those who lost a man in their life to suicide, some as long as 20 years ago, but who are only speaking about it now.
The photos will then be exhibited across the country in an effort to de-stigmatize men’s mental illness.
The exhibition will launch Thursday at 1445 West Georgia in Vancouver.