Five of the leading voices in male suicide prevention will get together for a “Big Debate” next week as they wrestle with the question “How Do We Make Male Suicide a National Priority?”
The debate takes place on Day 1 of the Men’s Health Connected which launches on Monday 1 June for the first of a series of online events focused on men’s mental health and male suicide prevention.
The debate will be chaired by CEO of the Australian Men’s Health Forum, Glen Poole, who sits on the Expert Advisory Group to the PM’s National Suicide Prevention Advisor, Christine Morgan.
Glen has invited four guests to join him for what promises to be a lively discussion on male suicide prevention in Australia.
- Dr Zac Seidler, Director of Mental Health Training, Movember
- MATES in Construction CEO Chris Lockwood
- Tim Hodgson, CEO, Gotcha4Life
- Pete Shmigel, mental health advocate and the former CEO of Lifeline
The debate takes place on zoom at 2pm AEST and anyone wishing to attend this free event should register in advance here: How Do We Make Male Suicide a National Priority?
The Gotcha4Life charity was founded by Gus Worland on the back of his successful ABC series Man Up.
Gotcha4LIfes believe in the concept of prevention through Connection and highlights the importance of identifying a close friend in your life, someone you can speak openly and honestly to when times are tough. The charity also champions the idea of mental fitness, building the social and emotional muscle and the resilience required to deal better with the challenges that life throws at us.
Dr Zac Seidler, a clinical psychologist, is Director of Mental Health Training at Movember. He believes that current services - such as emergency departments, GPs and mental health services - are not made with men in mind. According to Zac, services are not taking into account masculine socialisation, and how men experience distress and mental health treatment or the situational stress that many men encounter, such as unemployment, financial distress and relationship breakdown. Zac says we need to stop putting the onus on men to change when it comes to mental health treatment and make services male-focused and male-friendly instead.
Dr Zac Seidler
Chris Lockwood represents MATES, a uniquely Australia organisation which delivers strategic, innovative, evidence-based suicide prevention and mental health programs that raise awareness, build capacity and connect workers in the building, mining, energy and construction industries to help and support. They aim to empower individuals to make a difference for their mates, by using existing industry structures to engage with workers in their workplaces.
Pete Shmigel has lived experience of mental health and suicidality. Now CEO of ACOR, a trade body for the recycling industry, Pete says one of the main blind spots in suicide prevention is the lack of focus on working blokes.
The debate will be followed by an interactive post-debate analysis from 3.30pm with invited guests and audience members contributing to discussion about making approaches to suicide prevention more male- friendly.
TAKE ACTION FOR MEN’S HEALTH
Register for Day One of the Men’s Health Online Summit: How Do We Make Male Suicide a National Priority?”