GENERALLY, a higher proportion of women have mental health illnesses compared to men. However, the National Suicide Registry Malaysia has revealed that men are three times more likely to die by suicide compared to women. Risk factors include the presence of mental health issues, physical disabilities, a history of substance abuse, past suicide attempts, and an ongoing stressful life event such as serious financial issues and unemployment.
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to an economic slump that has heightened the unemployment rate and job insecurity among workers. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia, men comprise the majority of the workforce population – approximately 80%. A sudden loss of income would cause financial stress among men who are often the main breadwinners of the family. At the same time, men who remain employed will experience increased job stress as they are working with tight resources. Both job stress and job insecurity are known determinants of mental health issues.