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
In November this year, the National Men's Health Gathering, incorporating the National Men's Health Conference, and the National Indigenous Men's Health Conference will Reconvene for the first time in 3 years. This is an important event. The First National Men's Health Policy is now over 7 years old, men are in the spotlight, often for the wrong reasons, though there is a growing conversation recognising that men, and boys benefit from considered and well implemented support. The male suicide rate is gradually getting some recognition. Is there beginning to be a level of empathy for some high profile men - Steve Smith for example - who have made errors of judgement - with an understanding that mental illness is a real threat when they are subject to an unrelenting public profile?
Men's Resources Tasmania would like to encourage innovative programs, services, individuals and organisations to sell their wares at the coming National Conference. Tassie needs to be well represented, to ensure we can bring home some innovations from elsewhere. However we frequently lead the way. Which innovative Tassie programs and services, supporting men and boys really well, would you like to see represented at the National Men's Health Gathering? We'd love to hear your thoughts...
Anyone interested can submit an abstract here.
Or Click Here if your organisation is interested in being a sponsor.
Don't forget if this Blog has raised difficult issues for you:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Mensline Australia: 1300 78 99 78
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