Middle Age Men
Being a man isn’t easy—feeling like you always have to be strong can be hard. And, stress from the pandemic can make it even harder. In times like these, feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious is common. These feelings can lead to other difficult changes. If these feelings or changes interfere with your life or go on for too long, there could be a bigger problem going on, and it might just be time to do something different: Find help. Men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s can be at higher risk of suicide, especially during times of high stress like COVID-19. Plenty of support is available.
Know the warning signs
Feeling depressed and isolated is not the only sign that something is wrong. There may be other signs that you need help. These include:
Changes in how you feel physically:
- Trouble coping with physical changes, such as sleep, energy level or appetite changes.
- Unbearable chronic pain.
Changes in how you think:
- Thinking life is not worth living.
- Thinking about hurting yourself or having suicidal thoughts.
- Thinking others are better off without you.
Changes in how you feel emotionally
- Feeling isolated from others who understand you.
- Feeling inadequate.
- Feeling like a burden to others.
- Feeling abandoned or betrayed.
- Feeling ashamed of who you are.
- Feeling hopeless, desperate, or trapped.
- Having no sense of purpose.
- Having sudden mood changes.
Changes in how you act
- Giving away prized possessions.
- Doing careless things that put you in danger.
- Putting affairs in order.
- Increasing drug or alcohol use.
- Withdrawing and spending most of your time alone.
- Purchasing a firearm or other weapon.
Stressful circumstances in your life
- Financial stress.
- General anxiety, e.g. about your and your family’s health and wellbeing.
- Chronic or terminal illness.
- Death or suicide of a loved one.
- Conflict with your family or community support system.
- Exposure to trauma, such as abuse or bullying.
- Being treated unfairly because of who you are.
- Not having others who understand you.
- Failure to meet expectations.
- Trouble adjusting to a new culture.
What to do
Talk with your doctor
Talk to your doctor or any other health care or mental health professional, such as a nurse, therapist or counselor. Do not be afraid to tell them what you are feeling and let them know what has changed. They can help you pinpoint problems and discuss treatment options.
Speak with someone you know and trust
Friends and family members may have noticed a change that you cannot see. Share your feelings and listen to what they have to say. Faith leaders or spiritual advisors can also be a good place to start.
Ask for support
If you belong to a community organization, support group, or participate in any other community-based programs, talk to a fellow member, staff person, or volunteer about support or resources.
Get help in your area
Contact one of the mental health and suicide prevention services listed below to speak with an experienced professional. Asking for help is a sign of strength.
Put safety measures in place
When someone is showing warning signs or struggling with thoughts of suicide, even as you seek help, it’s important to keep the immediate surroundings safe. Clear away any potentially lethal items from your household; these include firearms, medications, knives and scissors, and any items that could be used as ligatures (e.g. belts, ropes, shoelaces). Firearms can be temporarily stored outside of the home. The resources below include different firearm safety options to protect you and your loved ones, or you can consult the 11 Commandments of Gun Safety.
TALK TO SOMEONE
All are 24/7, free, confidential
Santa Clara County Suicide and Crisis Hotline
Trained volunteer counselors available 24/7
Crisis Text Line Number
Text RENEW to 741741
Trained volunteer counselors available by text message
Veterans’ Crisis Line
1-800-273-8255; press 1
1-800-799-4889, for deaf and hard-of-hearing
Text any message to 838255
Connect with qualified, caring VA responders
FIND A PROVIDER OR IMMEDIATE HELP
Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Call Center
For more information about all Santa Clara County behavioral health programs, or to see if you qualify.
3100 De La Cruz Blvd, Suite 310, Santa Clara
South County Office
16340 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill
Speak with a Health Insurance Counselor for details about your Medicare choices. Counseling sessions are free.
Mental Health Urgent Care Walk-In Clinic
2221 Enborg Lane, San Jose
Open every day from 8am to 10pm
The clinic provides screening, assessment, crisis intervention, referral and short-term treatment to adolescents and adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis and need immediate help, regardless of insurance or immigration status.
Mobile Crisis Response Team
Open 24-hours, 7 days a week
Speak with a clinician to who can screen and assess mental health or suicide crisis situations over the phone and intervene wherever the crisis is occurring.
911 Emergency Services
If calling 911 for a mental health-related emergency, request a police officer with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
1150 South Bascom Ave., Suite 24, San Jose
The nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
Make the Connection
Online resource for veterans to hear stories of recovery and access resources.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) Healing Conversations
Email: [email protected]
Opportunity for survivors of suicide loss to speak with volunteers who are loss survivors.
452 S. 1st Street, San Jose
Access peer-based social, emotional, and mental health support for LGBTQ+ adults in Santa Clara County.
Billy DeFrank Lesbian & Gay Community Center
938 The Alameda, San Jose
Provides community, leadership, advocacy, services and support to the Silicon Valley’s LGBTQ People and their Allies.
More LGBTQ County resources available at www.sccbhsd.org/lgbtq
Get a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO)
GVROs can help temporarily remove guns and prevent new ones from being purchased by someone who is at risk of harming themselves or others. If you are concerned that someone you know is at risk, you can file for a GVRO. Family members, household members, some employers, colleagues, teachers, and law enforcement are eligible to file. Learn more about GVROs and how to file one at https://speakforsafety.org/.
Voluntarily Relinquish Your Firearm
The County of Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office accepts unwanted firearms and ammunition at its stations in San Jose, Cupertino, and San Martin. If you feel that you or someone in your household is at risk of harming themselves or anyone else, you can turn in your weapons. Instructions on how to turn over your firearm and/or ammunition are below.
Visit https://countysheriff.sccgov.org/services/how-voluntarily-relinquish-firearms-sheriffs-office or Call 408-299-2311 and tell the dispatcher.
Guns are accepted at the following locations:
55 W. Younger Ave., San Jose
Open all day and night
West Valley Division
1601 S. De Anza Blvd., Cupertino
Monday-Friday from 8am to 3pm
South County Station
80 W. Highland Ave., San Martin
Monday-Friday from 8am to 3pm
Learn More about Firearms and Suicide
Firearms and Suicide Prevention
Brochure from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) that offers firearm owners information on suicide risk factors and warning signs, resources to provide help, and reminders on how to stay safe.