The Black Dog Institute is calling on men to share their experiences of accessing mental health services.
Black Dog wants to know whether men have thought about trying these services, and what stopped them following through. For those who did go down this path but quickly turned around, the researchers want to know why.
The results of the 30-minute survey will inform The Black Dog Institute's development of a new service, "a safe alternative to turn to in dark times that gives you the tools and support to feel like yourself again.”
The survey is anonymous and open to Australians 18 years and over who identify as male, and who have experienced thoughts of ending their life and/or have made plans or attempts in the past 12 months.
At the May 2021 Men’s Health Connected Online Gathering hosted by the Australian Men’s Health Forum, The National Response to Suicide was examined, posing the question, ‘Are Men a Priority?’
Clinical psychologist Dr Zac Seidler, also the Director of Mental Health Programs at Movember, reiterated research that showed men do seek help when they are at a low point, but the system wasn’t prepared to deal with them effectively.
Health practitioners need to “create a space where men can go, where they can feel held and understood, and where they can consider their own lives,” said Dr Seidler, who has developed a program called ‘With Men in Mind’ with the aim of upskilling therapists with the confidence to engage more effectively with male clients.
The Australian Men’s Health Forum has developed a Men’s Mental Health Charter, which sets out seven principles to help governments, funders, commissioners and policy makers to ensure mental health and suicide prevention services are better equipped to support men and boys.
Launched in June at a round table with the Hon David Coleman MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, the charter was delivered by Christopher Stone, Suicide Prevention Australia, Dr Zac Seidler, Dr Neil Hall, Men's Health Information and Resource Centre, Chris Lockwood, MATES In Construction, Ross Arriola, Parents Beyond Breakup, Dr Kylie King, Monash University and Australian Men's Health Forum CEO, Glen Poole.
“We know that men account for three quarters of suicide and we know that more needs to be done to, to work together to reduce the incidence of suicide amongst men, and the Charter is a very useful document and we'll be reviewing it very carefully.”
“Our research has consistently found that while 3 in 4 suicides are men, up to 4 in 5 clients of taxpayer-funded suicide prevention services are women.
“Suicide is a clearly a gendered problem, we cannot simply fund gender-blind solutions and hope they will be equally effective for men and women.”