What is the relative rate of suicide in men, compared to women?
Men are four times more likely to commit suicide (1-3), even though rates of depression are twice as high in women as they are in men (4-11).
What are some common troubles men have when interacting with health care professionals?
Men often have difficulty articulating the problem, minimize symptoms, forget to report symptoms, or simply do not report certain issues (12-17).
What is the role of social support in men's mental health?
One study showed that after participation in repeat group activities, men feel much more social support and resilient (29), and another indicated that diabetic men who were enrolled in a peer support program had better health outcomes than those not enrolled in a peer support program (30). Western society conceptualizes men as individual and stoic, but much research indicates they benefit from social support - and our DUDES say the same.
Do Indigenous men experience greater, lower, or the same mental health issues as their non-Indigenous counterparts?
Indigenous peoples in general experience higher levels of mortality, morbidity, and preventable diseases than their non-Indigenous counterparts (22-23). Indigenous men in particular are likely to experience a disproportionate burden of mental health issues, such as depression and suicide, when compared to their non-Indigenous counterparts (24-27).
What are some factors that protect against suicide in Indigenous communities?
Community control over health, fire, and police services
Cultural facilities (27)
Are Cultural Practices effective counselling for Indigenous individuals?
Yes. Many organizations offer traditional ceremonies as part of the recovery process for Indigenous peoples: sweats, pipe ceremonies, and talking circles (28). Every DUDES Club has at least one elder, who is considered indispensible by the members. The DUDES Club in Vancouver offers a prayer at the beginning and end of every session in Musqueam, the language of one of our elders. On our retreat in October 2015 we had an artist help the men with beading and leather working, and we held a smudging ceremony. The presence of elders, cultural practices, and Indigenous languages are held as important in healing for the men who attend.
Please see the "references" page for research citations.