They’re from both the bush and the city, young and old, and span various industries, socio-economic statuses and backgrounds.
But the one thing they have in common is that almost all will leave behind grief-struck family, friends and colleagues who had no idea they were struggling.
That’s because men who die by suicide are significantly less likely to have sought help, SANE Australia chief executive Jack Heath said.
“In terms of people engaging with our support services, the ratio is three women for every man,” Mr Heath said.
Despite campaigns aimed at men’s mental health and enormous efforts to reduce the stigma attached to suicide, there’s still something holding Aussie blokes back from reaching out.
And the outcomes of that are alarming.
In 2017, the number of deaths from intentional self harm was 3128. Of those lives lost, 75 per cent — or 2349 — were men, according to the Bureau of Statistics.
Gotcha4Life is dedicated to an in-school program helping educate young men about resilience and the importance of friendships, and runs a scholarship program with Lifeline to train more males counsellors.
While mental health is an issue across the community — there was a nine per cent increase in the number of suicides of both men and women last year — men are three times more likely to take their own lives. There is a gender imbalance and news.com.au believes this could potentially be changed.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in Australian men aged 15 to 44 — more than double the national road toll.
“It’s incredibly concerning, the over-representation of men in suicide statistics,” Mr Heath said.
“When you look at the suicide rates for women, they peak in the late teens and are pretty consistent over the course of a lifetime. There’s a slight increase in the late 40s but it’s pretty much a flat line across all age groups.
“But when you look at the statistics for men, they go well beyond where women are.
“They steadily climb from the mid to late 20s and peak in the early 50s. They drop off and flat line from there, up until men reach their 80s when they increase again.”
What this tells experts is that men struggle with various different factors depending on their stage of life, but don’t seek help when things get tough.
“Obviously there’s something happening coming into adulthood, big issues in middle age — I’d say around divorce or separation — and again in late life.”
As well as not asking for help when feeling suicidal, a staggering 72 per cent of men don’t seek help for mental health disorders.
Instead, research shows most turn to alcohol, drugs, gambling or other unhealthy activities in a bid to cope with their emotions.
He was part of a tour across Australia, visiting more than 300 schools, and noticed an intriguing pattern.
“If you had a man and a woman presenting, the numbers of young people putting their hand up to share their experiences would be three times more girls than boys,” Mr Heath recalled.
“But when you had two men going in to do the school presentations, it was a 50-50 split.”
It demonstrates that men will often “adopt the behaviours of other men”, he said.
“There’s a notion around men almost needing to have permission to seek help, or needing to see other men seeking help before they will.”
Tailoring the mental health and suicide conversation to men is critical.
The still-ingrained notions of what it means to be a man in Australia are powerful, Mr Heath said.
“In this country we still have quite dominant ideas of what it means to be a man. It’s putting up with things and pushing through, a sense of stoicism.
“There’s also a tendency to share things less so. And I don’t want to over-generalise but there is perhaps a tendency to be less introspective than women.”