Men’s health leaders call for an election focus on male suicide
All parties standing in the upcoming Federal Election should commit to taking action to tackle male suicide, says Australia’s peak body for men’s health.
Suicide kills nine people a day in Australia and the majority of those deaths (approximately seven a day) are men. In 2020, for example, there were 3,139 suicide deaths in Australia: 2,384 male and 755 female.
One year ago, the PM’s National Suicide Prevention Adviser, Christine Morgan, issued her final advice to the Government, which included a call for a list of priority actions for tackling male suicide specifically, to be drawn up and added to the National Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Today, a powerful alliance of suicide prevention organisations – including Lifeline, headspace and the Black Dog Institute - are marking the one-year anniversary of the Final Advice being issued, to urge all political parties “to commit to fully fund and implement the recommendations of the Final Advice”.
The move is co-ordinated by Suicide Prevention Australia and is backed by a number of organisations with a specific interest in male suicide prevention including the Australian Men’s Health Forum, MATES In Construction, OzHelp and Parents Beyond Breakup.
Glen Poole, CEO of the Australian Men’s Health Forum said:
“We fully support the call for the advice of the PM’s National Suicide Prevention Adviser to be implemented. We worked hard to ensure that the voice of men and the men’s health sector was heard and included in Christine Morgan’s Final Advice to Government. This advice includes three specific recommendations relating to male suicide that we would like every party standing for election to commit to delivering in the next Parliament”.
The three key recommendations on tackling male suicide made by the PM’s Suicide Prevention Advisor are:
1. All Governments (including Federal, State and Territory) ensure their suicide prevention planning and funding targets populations that are disproportionately impacted by suicide, including men who are three times more likely to take their own lives than women
2. All Governments review their services and publish a report outlining how accessible the services they are providing are to men
3. All Governments identify a list of priority actions needed to tackle male suicide and for those actions to be incorporated into the National Suicide Prevention Strategy