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.