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Research probes Scots male suicide risk

This news post is almost 6 years old

Too many men are taking their own lives

Scots academics are being funded to look into male suicide.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), is behind a new PhD scholarship at the University of Glasgow.

Suicide is a growing problem in men under 50 in Scotland and is now that age group’s leading cause of death.

Some 728 people took their own lives last year - 75% of whom were male

It is hoped new research could help suicide prevention.

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson said: "Over the course of the last year, SAMH and the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab have partnered together to create this research that will enhance our understanding of suicide.

"We know men are particularly at risk, especially men in their middle years. We need a deeper understanding of why some risk factors contribute to men completing suicide, compared with those, who, with the same risks factors don't.

"We know that suicide devastates and we hope that this research will provide a greater understanding to enhance our future work on suicide prevention."

Prof Rory O'Connor, the director of the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab at the university, said: "We are incredibly excited to be working with SAMH on this ground-breaking research into male suicide in Scotland.

"Despite the stark reality that suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50, we still do not fully understand the complex set of factors that account for this harrowing reality.

"Over the next three years, we are planning a series of studies to understand suicide risk in men.

"To do so, we aim to investigate the clinical, psychological and social factors that increase suicide risk, including the challenges and expectations on men and what can be done to tackle this major public health concern."

Footballer Charlie Adam is supporting the move. His dad, Charlie Snr, a former Dundee Utd player, took his own life in 2012.

"It was a real blow to me losing my Dad," the Scotland international said.

"It knocked me big time. It's great that this research will look to understand suicide risk in men.

"It's a subject that's close to my heart."