The new Blokes’ Book - helping men help their mates.
The Blokes’ Book will be launched via ZOOM at 12 noon on Tuesday 26 May. Minister Rockliff will launch the book, along with representatives from the men’s health sector.
A new, revised edition of The Blokes’ Book—a publication packed with information and resources to support the wellbeing of Tasmanian men and boys—has been released at a time when the Tasmanian community needs it more than ever.
The updated Blokes’ Book features helpful information and current contacts to help men support each other—particularly in cases where they may be struggling with challenging life situations or thoughts of suicide.
Thanks to funding support from the North West Suicide Prevention Trial Site* (NW Trial Site), Rural Alive and Well, the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association, Launceston City Council and the Tasmanian Government for supporting this reprint of the Blokes’ Book.
As part of the funding from the NW Trial Site, MRT has been able to add critical information designed to help men to support their mates when they are worried about suicidal issues arising. Over 50% (and possibly as much as 75%) of male suicide is associated with issues other than mental illness. Major causes of suicide in men include relationship breakdown, unemployment or financial issues—often exacerbated by alcohol use.
We really appreciate the Stop Male Suicide project for allowing us to include their information that can help men find the words to safely and confidently have difficult conversations with their mates when they are worried about them.
10,000 copies of the Blokes’ Book have been distributed since 2017, and now another 7500 are available throughout the state.
An online version of the Blokes’ Book can be accessed at www.mrtasmania.org/blokesbook. and hardcopies are also available through contacting MRT on firstname.lastname@example.org
A stark warning was aired on Radio National on Thursday morning (7 May) about the potential increase in suicide in coming months. Professor Ian Hickie from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre, and his colleagues have been doing some modelling on potential increases in suicide rates in the coming months, with suggestions it could increase by between 25 and 50%.
'Looking at the economic, social, mental health effects of what has already happened in relation to CoVID 19 (unemployment going to ten percent)' ... in the best case scenario suicide rates will rise by 25%'.
Thats an increase of 750 deaths per year if we don't do anything more to address the issue, 560 of those will be men, and as we have said, we need male oriented campaigns and actions as part of our response.
The worst case scenario is that according to the modelling, we could see an increase of up to 1500 deaths per year.
At the same time, we hear of increasing family violence rates. I am tired of wondering what we can do to address this. I believe many of the factors that contribute to family violence and suicide are the same. Financial problems, relationship stress and breakdown, unemployment and related issues. We hear relentlessly that the way to address male violence is to change the attitudes and behaviours of men towards women. That may be one way to address that violence. MRT believes that its time to explore other options as well, that we seek to address the social factors.
MRT is putting together an application to fund a project to explore ways to address these issues, and will convene a teleconference on Monday 11 May to discuss and gain support for our initiative. Click here to obtain the ZOOM meeting link and our application to date.
Zac Seidler has been in the media in various forms this week, encouraging men to call their mates. Check out his chat on ABC newsradio this morning, and a piece in The Age, earlier in the week.
So are you up for it? Send us a video of yourself making the pledge to Call It Forward, like our board member Brendan. #CallItForward-->
Men are increasingly finding and creating ways to connect, setting up their own groups. These are groups that have little or no formal structure, meeting in places and ways that meet their unique needs. Dads groups, walking groups, exhibitions and more.
There are now several new such groups and opportunities:
Men with Heart Exhibition returns to Hobart, with an exhibition at the BaHa'i Centre of Learning, 1 Tasman highway, Hobart, from Monday 2 March. Entry is free from 10am - 4pm weekdays. There is an official exhibition opening on 12 March.
The Man Walk - Hobart
Dads Group inc. - Hobart
The Empowered Man - fortnightly in Hobart.
Island of Men - retreat - near Hobart - April 2020
Dads Group Inc. Launceston
Launceston Men's Group
Dads Group NW
What other groups are you aware of and can share with other men?
In 2016, MRT contributed a submission to the Tasmanian Government enquiry into Poker Machines in Tasmania - you can read the submission here.
The renewal of licenses and implementation of the Liberal Governments agenda from the 2018 election is likely to come up on the agenda in Parliament in coming weeks. MRT has been an active supporter of the the Community Voice on Pokies Reform. Now is potentially the last opportunity we have to influence the impact of Poker Machines in Tasmania for 20 years. For more information on recommended actions to take from here, please read this letter sent to CVOP members.
We would certainly encourage you to write to your local member, with some of the ideas and suggestions to ensure harm from poker machines is reduced as much as possible.
The following article is printed in the Mercury today.
The recent announcement by the Federal Government of $64M funding for suicide prevention is a missed opportunity to address male suicide. Six of the eight people who tragically die by suicide everyday in Australia are men. We won’t see a significant reduction in suicide rates, let alone approach the Federal Government’s goal of zero suicides, until we get serious about a focus on male suicide.
In 2019, the Government appointed National Suicide Prevention Advisor, Christine Morgan. Initial advice points to: “…the need to use the knowledge of lived experience, to intervene early, focus on specific at-risk groups, strengthen families and communities, and ensure that all government services--not just health services--are working to reduce suicide.”
The Federal Government is responding with a welcome change in the focus of suicide prevention awayfrom medical models towards approaches that are informed by people’s lived experience. However, the funding announced in January primarily targets postvention services, which have a focus on supporting people who have attempted suicide, or have been affected by the suicide of someone close to them. Analysis by the Australian Men’s Health Forum shows that postvention services, as they are currently delivered, tend to reach more women.
Reducing suicide, suicidal behaviours and thoughts, and the direct impacts these have on people who are at risk of suicide, and their families and friends, is always a good thing. However, as is the case with any Government project, funds are limited, which means decisions have to be made, and priorities chosen. Evidence-based aproaches are vital, and the evidence shows we’re not reaching men.
The terrible statistics about male suicide have been the same for decades. In recent years, advocates like Glen Poole of Stop Male Suicide, the Australian Men’s Health Forum, Men’s Health Information and Resources Centre, and the Australian Institute of Male Health Studies, have been advocating for and providing evidence about effective approaches to take action on male suicide.
We know that over 50% of male suicides occur in the context of relationship breakdown, employment challenges, of financial difficulty, and issues of drug and alcohol addiction. If we’re serious about suicide prevention, we need to engage men when they are experiencing these challenging life circumstances, before a suicide attempt happens, because most male suicides occur at the first attempt.
In our valuable and important efforts to listen to those left behind by the suicide of a loved one, or those who have attempted suicide themselves, is there a risk of not sufficiently hearing the voices of our most significant at-risk group–men–because they have already gone?
The extension of the Suicide Prevention Trial is a good initiative. Men’s Resources Tasmania (MRT) has successfully advocated for a focus on men through the Tasmanian trial sites across the north of the state with various training, workshops and events occurring in the last two years to ensure services and workplaces address male suicide risk.
MRT is seeking partnerships and funding to connect with men across the state to better understand their needs and the supports that would meet those needs.
Excecutive Officer - MRT
After a much-needed break, we're back on deck for another year and looking forward to working with you, and supporting the men and boys of Tassie to make positive progress again this year.
Congratulations to Tom Windsor - the Tasmanian Local Hero Australian of the Year award winner. As I'm sure you know, Tom has made a massive contribution to the Movember movement through his Mobart MoBros and various fundraising efforts, including his team that run the Point to Pinnacle each year. It's great to see Tom's efforts to support men’s health recognised nationally.
Our AGM was held in early December, and with that we have said goodbye to some folks from the board, and welcomed some new members. Our Annual Report provides those details and other highlights from 2019, and we'll have more to share soon about other changes and developments.
Obviously, it's been a challenging start to the year for many families across the country. We're deeply mindful of all those people who have lost loved ones, homes, property and businesses that they have worked to build over many years. Our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected by the fires, and we also express our deep gratitude to the firies, male and female, who are working so hard to keep our communities safe.
We’re looking forward to continuing the work this year in support of healthier lives for men and boys in Tasmania.
Executive Officer - MRT
We're looking for dads who have been involved in family law proceedings.
The Commonwealth Government is conducting an inquiry into Family Law in Australia. More details about the inquiry and information about how to submit can be found HERE.
Men’s Resources Tasmania plans to write a submission to this inquiry. MRT is seeking some general feedback on people’s experiences of the family law system. We aim to provide evidence to inform the inquiry of the some of the experiences of some men.
We understand some of these issues are complex and can sometimes bring on strong feelings of anger and resentment. As an unfunded, volunteer run organisation we are not able to offer support for people dealing with these issues, or to advocate on behalf of individuals. If you wish to share a story, please do at the end. While we may reference all or part of a story to inform our submission, we cannot guarantee that your story will be included.
This survey is aimed at fathers who have had involvement of the family law system. However, if you are a stepfather, grandfather or male carer of children and have been involved in family law disputes, you are also welcome to contribute your experiences.
Submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry are due by 18 December. Our submission will, therefore be based on survey results received by close of business Friday 13 December.
If you have questions about the inquiry, you can contact the committee secretariat.
· Phone: +61 2 6277 3439
· Fax: +61 2 6277 5809
Thanks to everyone who sponsored, came along, provided and bought prizes at our second annual event. We'll share some more new soon.
We're gathering again to celebrate International Men's Day for 2019 - with the theme Let's Talk About Men. You're invited to join us for a barbecue breakfast at The Goods Shed, Macquarie Point from 7.30am on Tuesday 19 November.
Paul Hudson, player of 245 AFL games for Hawthorn and Western Bulldogs, coach and now father will share some of his experiences and insights, and maybe his thoughts on an AFL team for Tassie?
John X will MC proceedings, and some live music will help us to celebrate International Men's Day and the contributions men to our community and families.
There are still opportunities for organisations to sign up to have a table at the event. Download the Registration form below..
We're also looking for more sponsorship and prizes to raffle or auction off. Get in touch at email@example.com
Please share the poster with your networks.