Hope in the Face of Despair: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Approach to Working with Suicidal Ideation in Men

  • André BolsterEmail author
  • Azi Berzengi


Men, on average, are two to three times more likely to die by suicide than women. While there are multiple factors contributing to this gender difference, a growing area of interest is exploring whether men are more likely to die by suicide because hegemonic views of masculinity make it more difficult for them to seek help at times of crisis. With a view to contributing to this literature, we consider how Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may be used to increase men’s psychological flexibility in the face of their emotional distress. As part of this exploration, we draw on the unique philosophy of science and theory of language and cognition underlying ACT to explain how the construction of male identity may contribute to this increased risk of suicide among men in the first place.


ACT Men Suicidal ideation Suicide 



We would like to dedicate this chapter to our dear friend and colleague Ross Chernin (1979–2016). Ross was originally meant to write this chapter but was sadly unable to do so after falling ill. Through the manner in which you embodied ACT, Ross, you helped us to appreciate the true power of the approach and, for that, we are eternally grateful to you. Thank you also for being such a dude. You were a true friend and inspiration—and continue to inspire us from beyond…


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation TrustNorwichUK

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