Five reasons we need a male suicide prevention strategy

In July 2019, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his Government would make suicide prevention a key priority and appointed a National Prevention Adviser, Christine Morgan, to drive a whole-of-government approach to tackling the issue.

“Suicide takes far too many Australians, devastating families and local communities,” Mr Morrison said. “One life lost to suicide is one too many, which is why my Government is working towards a zero suicide goal.”

The Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) says preventing suicide among boys and men would go a long way towards achieving this goal.

On World Suicide Prevention Day 2020, AMHF, the peak body for men’s health, has published a report calling for a National Male Suicide Prevention Strategy.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT: GIVING MEN A HAND: THE CASE FOR A MALE SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY

While the report focuses on the need to prevent male suicide, work to prevent suicide should be gender inclusive and take into account the needs of women, girls and gender diverse people too.

Here are five reasons why we need a plan to prevent male suicide.

1. 3 in 4 suicides are male

Tackling male suicide could have a bigger impact on suicide rates than any other action. While reducing female suicide by a third would lead to an 8% reduction in suicide overall, reducing male suicide by a third would reduce suicide deaths by 25%. 

2. Ignoring gender isn’t working

The mental health system and suicide prevention services reach more women than men. This ‘gender blind’ approach may sound fair and equitable, but doesn’t respond to the fact that the majority of suicides are men.

3. Men and women are different

Most suicide prevention work focuses on people with a mental health illness and people who have previously attempted suicide, rather than responding to common risk factors for men such as relationship problems, money issues, job loss and alcohol abuse.

4. We are not spending our money wisely

Every year the Government invests more than $5 billion into mental health services. The 2019-2020 budget allocated nearly $750 million to ‘mental health and suicide prevention’. The majority of the funding for suicide prevention in Australia is directed towards services that are known to be more effective at reaching men than women.

5. The plan is back by leaders in suicide prevention

Suicide Prevention Australia, the national peak body for the suicide prevention sector, has called on the Government to ‘create a male suicide prevention strategy as a core stream within the national suicide prevention strategy, with funding and accountability attached to measures.’

DOWNLOAD THE INFOGRAPHIC FIVE REASONS WE NEED A NATIONAL MALE SUICIDE PREVENTION STRATEGY

 

READ: 10 ways male suicide is different from female suicide

READ: The 5 risk factors for male suicide

READ: The 5 social factors that shape male suicide

READ: The 5 key barriers to preventing male suicide

FURTHER READING ABOUT MALE SUICIDE IN AUSTRALIA

January 2020

Give blokes a fair chance of suicide funding says AMHF

November 2019

Putting male suicide on the PM’s agenda

September 2019

Join AMHF Suicide Prevention Network

September 2019

Dialling up the social factors that lead to male suicide

June 2019

New report reveals shocking male suicide statistics

March 2019

Research confirms 5 uncomfortable facts about young male suicide

December 2018

Preventing male suicide

September 2018

Male suicides in Australia up 10% in 2017

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