Buddy Up for men's mental health

27 May 2021

The University of Alberta recently became an official champion for the Centre for Suicide Prevention’s Buddy Up campaign. Buddy Up is a men’s suicide prevention communications campaign—a call to action to men, by men.

  • In Canada in 2019, there were 4,011 suicides, 3,058 of these suicides were male.¹
  • Middle-aged men (40-60) die by suicide more than anyone else, including young people and women.¹
  • In Canada, the suicide rate for men is three times higher than that of women.²
  • Men are also three times more likely than women to experience addiction and substance abuse.³

North American society historically suggested that men should be strong, stoic and self-reliant; showing emotion is a sign of weakness, as is asking for help. But the suicide rates for men continue to climb.  

How can we change this reality? Despite our gender expression or identity, we can all be allies.  Everyone has a role in preventing suicide.

As a leader, you may be in a unique position to recognize early signs that a colleague or team member may be struggling. Creating a psychologically healthy and safe environment by modeling and encouraging individuals to have open conversations about mental health can help break the stigma. Buddy Up is a campaign that promotes authentic conversations and teaches peoplehow to support a friend if they're struggling with thoughts about suicide.

June is Buddy Up Month! HRHSE is proud to offer this lunch and learn on June 3 presented by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. Join us to learn how to look out for your buddy and raise awareness for men’s suicide prevention.

¹ Buddy Up - Centre for Suicide Prevention

² Suicide in Canada: Key Statistics - Government of Canada 

³ Mental Illness and Addiction: Facts and Statistics- The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health