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Addressing the 'bloke blindspot' in suicide prevention

Male suicide statistics rarely take into account the many lives that are impacted by that one event. 

Writing in the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, former Lifeline chief executive Pete Shmigel and current AMHF board member explored the ‘ripple effect’ of male suicide and how our Save Aussie Men campaign is helping to tackle male suicide head-on. 

In the opinion piece, originally published, Shmigel outlined the broader social impact of suicide, and how our current system is failing men and their communities. 

“In 2019 – before the onset of COVID and its social complications – more Australians died by suicide than ever before. Seventy five percent of the 3,318 deaths were men,” he wrote.

“The numbers point to a much heavier social cost from suicide, beyond the direct lives being needlessly cut short.

“That’s massive and makes it fair to say that, whatever it is that we’ve been doing to prevent suicide, especially among men, has just not been good enough. “

The Cost of Suicide

Beyond the social ripple effect, Shmigel also noted the economic ripple effect of suicide. 

“The numbers point to a much heavier social cost from suicide, beyond the direct lives being needlessly cut short.” 

A recent report by the Productivity Commission estimated the direct economic costs of mental ill-health and suicide in Australia to be approximately $43–70 billion in 2018-19 alone.

“Something sad and sinister is happening in our otherwise comparatively stable and wealthy country. Maybe, our way of approaching the problem isn’t sound,” he surmised.  

Send A Message

Earlier this year, the National Suicide Prevention Adviser to the Prime Minister, Christine Morgan, called on the Government to fund a men's action plan aimed at preventing male suicide. 

The AMHF has also recognised the need for more suicide prevention strategies created with ‘with men in mind’. 

Shmigel noted that “the Save Aussie Men campaign is asking Australians to write to the Prime Minister and ask him for the first-ever national men’s suicide resilience plan. I know the PM is personally committed to positive change and I’ve shared some of my experience with him.”

The Save Aussie Men campaign seeks to encourage the public to send a personalised message to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Government, asking them to tackle male suicide head-on.

“The Government has set itself the ambitious target of working towards a zero suicide goal," said AMHF CEO, Glen Poole.

"Tackling male suicide with a targeted strategy and funding would go further than any other approach to achieving this goal."

AMHF’s Save Aussie Men will run until Christmas Day. Send A Message today. 


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