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Male suicide in Tasmania: good news or bad news?

The Tasmanian Liberal Government has released the first Implementation Plan of the new Tasmanian
Suicide Prevention Strategy, which includes a focus on reducing male suicide in Tasmania.

The news follows 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 – which we launched in 2022.

But how successful was the campaign and did we get everything we asked for? Here’s a summary of how the Tasmanian Government responded to our six key recommendations:

1. Develop a male suicide prevention action plan

With men accounting for more than 80% of suicides in Tasmania, we called on the Government to develop a Male Suicide Prevention Action Plan. This recommendation aligned with the findings of the National Suicide Prevention Adviser, which called on all State and Territory governments to review their existing services and identify specific actions that tackle male suicide.

While the Government chose not to create a separate Male Suicide Prevention Action Plan, the new Implementation Plan does name men as a priority population and identifies specific actions to tackle male suicide.

2. Audit services to see how effective they are at reaching men

We proposed an audit of existing funded services in Tasmania to assess how effective they are at reaching men at risk of suicide. The goal was to identify ways that services can be improved to make them more male friendly.

While an audit isn’t on the table, the Government has acknowledged that health services need to work better for men. The Implementation Plan includes a commitment to work in partnership with men to co-design a checklist which defines the features of a male-friendly health service and then to implement the checklist in the Tasmanian Health Service.

3. Support men with lived experience to contribute

We made the case that men with lived experience need to be supported to contribute to suicide prevention in Tasmania on an ongoing basis, from research and program planning to service design and delivery, program implementation, and evaluation.

The Government has committed to work with Roses in the Ocean to embed a focus on lived experience of suicide within Tasmania’s lived experience and consumer and carer participation frameworks. Roses in the Ocean facilitates the National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide network in partnership with AMHF and is aware of the need to include men in lived experience initiatives.

4. Fund grassroots men’s projects

We highlighted the value of funding grassroots projects, including peer-support projects run by men and for men. Initiatives like Men’s Sheds, The Man Walk, The Men’s Table, Mr Perfect BBQs, TasMen and TasDads are all examples of projects in Tasmania that provide social connection and peer support for men.

The Implementation Plan commits to increase the delivery of evidence-based prevention programs targeting male dominated industries and workplaces with higher rates of suicide. It also includes small grants to fund community-led activity focused on engaging men in rural areas that could see some rural men’s groups funded.

However, there is no specific commitment to fund grassroots men’s projects which provide social connection and peer support for men.

5.Training for frontline services on engaging men

We proposed suicide prevention training for frontline professionals and volunteers with a focus on engaging with men at risk of suicide. We emphasised the need to work with local providers with specialist expertise, such as Men’s Resources Tasmania.

The Government committed to implement Movember's Men in Mind training program on effectively engaging and working with men, with an initial focus on psychologists and other clinicians working in Tasmanian mental health services, AOD services, justice services and EAP programs.

There was no commitment to work with local specialist providers.

6. Funding for projects responding to situational distress

We called for funding for initiatives that respond to the risk factors for male suicide like relationship breakdown, financial issues and legal issues. Some examples include Dads In Distress, which provides services for separated dads, the Survivors and Supporters Mates Network (SAMSN), which supports male victims of sexual abuse, and DIY Dads projects, which provide single dads with housing and support.

The Government’s Implementation Plan does not include a focus on funding these types of projects.


1.Develop a male suicide prevention action plan Men named as priority population in the plan with specific actions named and funded Partly Achieved
2.Audit services to see how effective they are at reaching men No audit, but an acknowledgement that services need to be more male-friendly and a workstream to address this. Partly Achieved
3.Support men with lived experience to contribute Men with LE to be engaged re:making services male-friendly. RITO engaged to embed a focus on LE (and we need to make sure Tasmanian men’s LE is included)


4.Fund grassroots men’s projects Some Movember training commissioned, but lacking recommendations for local upskilling to create sustainability and built on the good will of local contributors Partly Achieved
6.Funding for projects responding to situational distress No action, but an acknowledgement that mental health lens is insufficient No action

Further reading:

Male Suicide campaign leads to Government action in Tasmania

Download the Tasmanian Suicide Prevention Strategy Implementation Plan One


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