Male suicide campaign leads to Government action in Tasmania
The Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff, has announced new plans to tackle male suicide in the State, following a successful campaign by Men’s Resources Tasmania and the Australian Men’s Health Forum.
The Time to Act on Male Suicide in Tasmania campaign was launched in 2022 and involved extensive advocacy and consultative work with men’s organisations, politicians and the Tasmanian Government.
In December 2022, Premier Rockliff announced that the State’s new suicide prevention strategy would include plans and activities that address the complex issues that contribute to men’s suicide, suicide ideation and suicidal distress.
This week, the Premier launched the first Implementation Plan of the new Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy which includes:
- A specific focus on men as a priority population for suicide prevention
- The development of a male suicide prevention working group to advise the Premier’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Council
- Initiatives to help the Tasmanian suicide prevention workforce become more male-friendly
- Targeted interventions for rural men and men in male-dominated industries
- Improved referral pathways to aftercare services for men who are suicidal
A major beneficiary of the announcement is the global men’s health charity Movember, who will partner with the Tasmanian Government to:
- Deliver Movember’s Men in Mind training program to psychologists and other clinicians working in Tasmanian mental health services, AOD services, justice services and EAP programs
- Increase access to some of Movember’s free programs including Family Man, Movember Conversations and Ahead of the Game
- Work with the Movember-led Global Community of Practice for engaging men in their health.
The 12-month implementation plan is back by $3.75m of funding though it is not clear at this stage how much will allocated specifically to male suicide prevention.
Glen Poole, CEO of the Australian Men’s Health Forum said:
“This is a great example of the value of men’s health advocacy in action. It has long been known that most suicides are men, yet governments at all levels have consistently prioritised approaches to suicide prevention that are more effective at helping women.
“The first step to addressing this challenge is to name men as a priority population and identify actions that can be funded and directed towards men at risk of suicide. We strongly welcome the news that the Tasmania Government has listened to our case for action and taken this first small step towards tackling male suicide in Tasmania.”
Jonathan Bedloe of Men’s Resources Tasmania said:
“This is the clearest commitment the Tasmania Government has ever made to take specific action to tackle male suicide. We welcome the inclusion of men as a priority group and look forward to working with the Government on its implementation plan through initiatives like the male suicide prevention working group and the initiative to help Tasmania health services become more male friendly.
“At the same time, we’re disappointed to see a lack of commitment to fund and support many of the great local men’s groups who work tirelessly to improve the lives of men in Tasmania and gave freely and generously to the consultation process. We will be making the case for future implementation plans to put more focus on place-based initiatives that demonstrate a long-term commitment to supporting men in Tasmania.”
To find out how successful the Time To Act on Male Suicdie in Tasmania campaign was and how the Tasmanian Government responded to our six key recommendations, see: Male suicide in Tasmania: good news or bad news?
Time to Act On Male Suicide in Tasmania
Tasmanian politician calls for action on male suicide
Download the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy Implementation Plan One