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The article is somewhat compelling because the author brings out the statistics to explain her points. As they say, numbers don’t line and the figures well presented by the author offers good support to her argument. However, I think the author focused a lot on the numbers that she forgot to give us more details. I feel like the author could have gone ahead to give real examples while still protecting the identity of people who have committed suicide. This could help in sending the message to the audience on the causes of suicide. I believe the audience of the article should be men who are middle-aged and may be suffering from thoughts of suicide with nobody to talk to them. However, the author does not tailor the article well for this audience because it keeps shifting between different audiences; the military group and the other men who have never been to the military but are nevertheless still being targeted by the article.
The writer effectively used the Toulmin argument structure to present her points by making various claims and backing them with evidence inform of the statistics. For instance, her claim that despite suicide being the number one cause of death among people under the age of 20, it is still a considerable problem among middle-aged men because three out of every four suicides are accounted for by men while there are seven men dying in Canada every day. These numbers are hard to ignore and call for the attention of the public. To rationalize her argument, the author backs her information by presenting the Globe and Mail report which revealed that 158 men had died in combat in Afghanistan while 54 more had committed suicide on return to civilian life. At one instance the author uses a rhetoric questions to inculcate deep thinking among the audience. She poses the question as to who would care about a divorced further of two struggling with life when men have been socialized to not ask for help.
Moreover, the author’s argument in line with Toulmin argument structure uses counterargument to the common image of a young person when issues of suicide are discussed. Her counterargument is that, despite it being the number one cause for people under 20 years, middle-aged men are more likely to commit suicides and the public is silence on the issue. He goes further to qualify the argument by using statistics and backing the claim by further stating the groups which are most at risk. The author further makes the point about the absence of effective methods to deal with the issue of the special needs for men with suicidal thoughts. She makes her argument strong by going ahead to suggest the methods that can be used to deal with this problem and backs her suggestions by referring the reader to research conducted by the Manitoba Population Mental Health Research group.
I think the author’s argument that women attempt suicide more often than men could have been stronger if she had provided some evidence to back this claim. This could have been in terms of statistics because the term “attempted suicide” itself is difficult to accurately define. Also, the claim by the author that strategies for suicide prevention by the federal government lack gender analysis has an inadequate backing and it would have been good if she had stated some of the specific gender analysis issues that should be considered and how these issues are ignored.
I think the article makes a strong claim with reliable evidence that captures the attention of the reader and serves to convince them of the main point. The author could have done a little better, but the article is well written to persuade any person with interest in the information.
Public health ignores men’s suicide. (2018). Evidence Network. Retrieved 22 February 2018, from http://evidencenetwork.ca/public-health-ignores-mens-suicide/