Help Me Keep A Million Men Alive

“If you could make male mortality rates the same as female rates, you would do more good than curing cancer.”  Randolph M. Nesse, M.D.

When I was five-years old and my father was forty-two, he tried to commit suicide.  The stresses of trying to earn a living and provide for his family during difficult economic times overwhelmed him.  Though he didn’t die physically, he was crippled emotionally and our lives were never the same.  I grew up wondering what happened to my father and to so many other wounded fathers.

According to the National Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, each year nearly 35,000 people kill themselves.  28,000 (nearly 80%) are male.  Eleven times that number attempt suicide.

But suicide isn’t the only way men’s lives are cut short.  “80 percent of all illnesses are stress induced,”   says Woodson Merrell, MD, Chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center.   Although stress impacts everyone, men are particularly vulnerable.  According to social scientist Dr. Thomas Joiner, “Males experience higher mortality rates than females at all stages of life from conception to old age.”

Statistics from the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that men have a higher death rate for the ten leading causes of death (numbers are deaths per 100,000 population):

“Over 330,000 lives would be saved in a single year in the U.S. alone if men’s risk of dying was as low as women’s,” says University of Michigan researcher, Daniel J. Kruger, PhD“Being male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death,” says Kruger’s colleague, Randolph M. Nesse, M.D.

I grieve for the men and boys whose lives are cut short and for the women and families left behind.  I’ve been looking for a way to reduce stress that is simple to learn, easy to practice, scientifically sound, and, most importantly, effective.  I’ve found what I’ve been looking for, have tested it extensively, and now want to get this life-saving information to as many men as I can.  My new book, MenAlive:  Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools, gives men what they need to stop the stress that shortens lives and destroys relationships.

Do you know of other resources you believe could help save men’s lives?  Let’s work together to make them available to men and the women who love them.

Here’s my simple idea:  We know stress kills, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  If we can reduce men’s risk of death to the same level as women’s, we can save nearly a million men within three years.  Let’s get started.  Please comment on this blog post with your idea or resource.  You can also contact me directly at

Photo Credit: math.unl.eduCreativeCommons

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  1. Hello Jed:
    I am in agreement with what you are trying to do here. I recently launched my website for counselling services with a focus on men and depression. I also have an article on mindfulness-based and gender-informed treatment for men with concurrent addictions and trauma, currently under review with a Canadian psychotherapy journal. My approach is integrally-informed, as I have been influenced a fair bit by the work of Ken Wilber.

    • Durwin, as you know depression and suicide are two issues we need to address more effectively if we are to keep 1 million men alive in the next three years. Let me know more about you work. Hopefully we can bring together an international team of individuals and organizations who would like to join us in making the world a better place by addressing the stresses the undermine the peace and well being of so many men.

  2. Hey Jed!
    Thanks for sharing this vital information for us men. I have to tell you that as I subscribe to quite a few websites that peek my interest in the areas of health, technology and the arts…I always pause to briefly read what you have to say because you’re always on point!
    These statistics are startling and should be the focus of main stream media through television/cable/radio but that would be too much like right, Right? Yeah that will be the day.
    So, I’m a 40 year old single black man with no offsprings, a stable career and a pretty good health record(THANK GOD!) but I give credit to my subconsciousness in paying more attention to the things that I not only put into my body but also on my body and within my soul. Through the years I may not have made some of the best decisions that have affected my existence but I’ve always had an opened mind towards improving my lifestyle on a daily.

    To help other men & the women who love their men reduce stress levels and depression I’ve listed a few ideas that help me on a daily:
    -Listening to the healing meditations of music with sounds of nature decreased my stress behind the wheel in traffic within Southern Cali;
    -Riding my bicycle on bike trails with similar music playing with a beach destination or another Earthy influenced destination totally helps;
    -NOT reading work emails between the hours of 6pm & 8am
    -Deep breathing exercises and finding a quiet place to settle the mind on my lunch breaks REALLY HELPS! Trust me, no-one is that busy that they cant take 5-10 minutes out of their day to give the brain a rest.
    -Juicing – I purchased a really nice juicer to get my antioxidants from greens, because I hated eating my greens but something I read about mens health had me rushing off to get a juicer. Best investment ever!
    – Yoga – Look, I’m a 6’3″ 195lb straight black man. Where I grew up you might get beat up for telling ya crew that you going to Yoga class, but trust the stuff is no joke and has changed everything mentally, physically and spiritually.
    -Sex – too much is never enough but is the ultimate stress reducer; Get it while you can..when you can!
    -Commercial products – 3 years ago I lost my taste buds for about 3 weeks as result of using a popular commercial brand tooth paste (which to date is still on the market after several other claims experienced similar reactions) Since then I’ve switched up all my hygiene products as well as handsoaps & laundry detergents to more trusted & natural/organic brands that are not trying to kill us off.

    I’m totally on board with you Jed on spreading the word towards saving millions of lives out there, but men themselves have to step up and take responsibility towards a more healthier style of living……whatever that entails….because I am a believer that stress will & can kill but it is treatable with time… day at a time.
    peace & love.

    • Pat, as you say men need to “step up” in support of our own health. You care clearly doing that. Thanks for the specific activities that you find helpful. Hopefully more and more individual men and women as well as organizations will step forward to take on this challenge. Feel free to share this blog with others.

  3. While Pat is a very well tuned in male and absolutely doing the right thing, and I applaude that, what about the 40 year old men such as myself with the 3 kids, mortgage, wife, youth coach, Manager of several employees, etc. etc. who may not have the time and or resources to do the things Pat is?

    I try some stress relieving things on my own, such as fishing, but I always feel as though I am falling behind when I am doing it and its always hurried because I have somewhere to be @ a certain time.

    Pat is absolutely correct regrding the sex! I feel that is my #1 stress reliever! So, what do you do when you have the typical wife that doesnt have near the sex drive?

    Thanks for all you do Jed.

    • Darin, Have you ever heard of “earthing, heart coherence, attachment love, and emotional freedom techniques (EFT)? I hadn’t when I began looking for simple, yet effective, techniques for reducing stress. I wanted tools that could be learned quickly, practices in under 5 minutes a day and are long-lasting. I found what I was looking for, tested them out with myself, friends, and clients, and am making them available to the world in the form of a book called MenAlive: Stop Killer Stress with Simple Energy Healing Tools. For anyone reading this blog who wants to join our team to help keep 1 million men alive, I will send you a free e-copy of the book before the June release. Simply write me at and put “save the men” in the subject line.

      • I looked the techniques up on the internet and some sound interesting. I will study it and give it a try.

        Thank you for replying and all the work you do!

    • Darin, I can’t answer you on the sex but, for me the hobbies are biking and skiing. The skiing is tougher but with biking, it helps to communicate with the wife. “I’d like to ride here, then.” And if you make it reasonable, get it out of the way early, get home and help with the kids and house stuff it helps. Obviously, some women will not be supportive of even this but, I’m giving the benefit of the doubt here.

  4. Hi Jed,
    I really honor your efforts to help men. I started out my private practice intending to do the same. Unfortunately, most of my clients are females. That in no way means I am not here to help men, I am. We need to find a way to help them overcome the societal stigmas about men so they can get the assistance they need or want. I am currently working with a fire fighter who is beating himself up because of those stigmas that he bought into, not knowing any better.

    Like you, I use Energy Psychology Techniques and have been for 14 years. I was so glad to learn you were on board and writing your book, which I made a contribution to! I regret that I could not get the ACEP conference to meet you personally. Count me in on your team.

  5. Tom,

    Thanks for your note. I’ve found I’ve had to reach out to men in different ways than with women. For instance, women are often more comfortable talking “face to face.” Many men prefer interacting “side by side.” I often take men out of the office for a walk and talk. They open up more deeply when we aren’t looking into each other’s eyes. For millions of years men were hunters of wild game. The only time he had eyes looking at him continuously was when he was about to be attacked and eaten. May account for some of our discomfort.