What a great article in the Sydney Morning Herald on the weekend.
“I don’t think that suicide should be viewed as a purely psychiatric issue. The idea that suicide is always the consequence of a definable mental illness continues to dominate the public consciousness despite a growing consensus among the academic community that there is much more at play.”
Situational Distress is the term being applied to looking at suicide from a broader perspective than purely mental health. Programs like Dads in Distress (now an organisation called Parents Beyond Breakup (PBB) provide one critical way to see the issue outside of a mental health paradigm. Research shows relationship breakdown is a factor in about 25% of male suicides.
Men’s Resources Tas is working with others including Primary Health Tasmania to bring some key people to Tas in hopefully late June, to run a forum on working with men with these issues and perspectives. We'd like to see PBB establishing a foothold here in Tassie. These groups are volunteer run and essentially operate through men who have been through relationship breakdown and possibly lost access to children for some time, being facilitators.
Prior to that the Tas Suicide Prevention Community Network of which I am a part are also bringing Zac Siedler – an academic and psychologist who established Man Island, amongst others to the Tas Suicide Prevention Forum in May. His focus is on engaging men.
There is a program running through the network of Neighbourhood Houses, called SuicideTALK. This is a 90 minute chat aimed at just starting those conversations, breaking down the stigma, giving people the vocabulary to talk about suicide in a constructive way. To date the sessions have had largely women attending, and we are keen to try the talks in more male dominated spaces. Dates are available here, and it would be great to see others come along – just register with the House. If anyone would like a talk in your workplace get in touch, we can probably arrange it – not for free, but it doesn’t need to cost a lot.
If this post has raised any difficult thoughts or emotions for you, help is available at:
Lifeline 131 114
MensLine 1300 789 978
Beyondblue 1300 224 636
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467