Depression self-portrait
New figures show that four in 10 men have contemplated suicideLloyd Morgan/Flickr

More than 40 per cent of men aged 18 to 45 have considered suicide, a study has found. In 2014, there were 4,623 men who took their own lives in the UK, accounting for 76 per cent of the total number of suicides, according to the report by YouGov and the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm).

The study, which was based on a survey of 2,142 men and data from local authorities, also found that 41 per cent of men who contemplated taking their own lives never spoke about their feelings to anyone. Men did not want to discuss their feelings because they did not want people to worry and did not want to create a fuss.

It was a slight decline on the 4,800 men who took their lives in 2013, according to Office of National Statistics figures. The ONS study, which was released in February, found that suicide remained the most common cause of death for men aged between 20 and 34 in England and Wales.

"This isn't an issue which affects 'other people' or one that can be solely reasoned to mental health issues, considering suicide is clearly something many men will consider should their life circumstances change," said Calm chief executive Jane Powell.

"Of those men polled, the largest proportion of those who'd thought about suicide never actually talked to someone about it and the reasons they didn't talk reinforce the norms of what society think it is to 'be a man' – not to talk about their feelings or make those around them worry."

The ONS figures found that male suicides had increased significantly since 2007, to reach the highest number since 2001. The report said that hanging, strangulation and suffocation accounted for 56 per cent of male suicides in 2013.

The Samaritans provides a free support service for those who need to talk to someone. It can be contacted through Samaritans.org or on 08457 90 90 90, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call charges apply.