Suicide Prevention Australia, in partnership with the Australian Men’s Health Forum, has received a NSW Government grant of $340,000 over three years to implement a male-targeted suicide prevention project.
Male suicide prevention is a key focus for Suicide Prevention Australia and a priority group for the NSW Government. Three of every four people who die by suicide are men, with over half occurring in males aged 30 to 59.
“We are pleased to have received this funding from the NSW Government as it provides us with an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of men across NSW,” said Ms Nieves Murray, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.
“In partnership with the Australian Men’s Health Forum, we will be developing an easy-access online network that will help men to find the information they are looking for.
“The Male Suicide Prevention Project aims to provide a website that will enable men to seek support and information within their local community, amongst their networks, or preferred organisations.
“We will be able to highlight the excellent services being provided across NSW, by our broader membership and others, and create greater visibility of these services for the community.
“We have recently established an advisory group to provide expertise and direction to the project over the coming year. These experts in the area of men’s suicide prevention and men’s health are providing policy advice, including content and messaging for the website.
“There will also be men with lived experience of suicide represented in the group, who are uniquely placed to inform on how best to support people through a crisis. This project will be guided by people with lived experience to ensure it reaches the right people, in the right way.
“The advisory group will be instrumental in ensuring that evidence-informed services and resources are included on the website and to identify those services where men can have safe conversations around suicide and suicidal behaviour,” said Ms Murray.
Australian Men’s Health Forum CEO, Glen Poole said, “The Australian Men's Health Forum is delighted to be working on this important project with Suicide Prevention Australia. It's well known that the majority of suicides in Australia are male, yet most suicide prevention initiatives do not directly target men.
“With the help of this funding from NSW Government, we will begin to place more focus on the needs of men at risk of suicide and help remove some of the barriers that can prevent men from finding the timely support they need," said Mr Poole.
The website will make it easier for men to find relevant information. It will allow an individual to filter existing services and resources on a geographic level, particular to a town or area, and will also allow for filtering to fit their profile.
The Male Suicide Prevention Project Advisory Group includes Professor Jane Pirkis (Director of the Centre for Mental Health, University of Melbourne) and Shayne Connell (CEO of LivingWorks). It is co-chaired by Suicide Prevention Australia and the Australian Men’s Health Forum.
Ms Murray said, “It’s important to remember, you do not have to go this alone. Help is always available no matter who you are or what situation you are in. If you are feeling distress, please reach out and access the various support services that are available.
“We can never underestimate the impact that every life lost to suicide has on family, friends, workplaces and the broader community,” said Ms Murray.
More than three-quarters of suicide deaths occur in males; in 2020, 3,139 Australians died by suicide, 2,384 (76%) of whom were males. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021 https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/causes-death-australia/latest-release] accessed 22 October 2021).
Ambulances respond to over 16,800 calls each year from males experiencing suicidal ideation and a further 9,000 ambulances respond to a suicide attempt. (Beyond the Emergency: A National Study of Ambulance Responses to Men's Mental Health. Report. Turning Point and Monash University, Beyond Blue. Richmond, VIC, 2019, p. 8.)
To get help 24/7, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, phone 000 for emergency services.
About Suicide Prevention Australia
Suicide Prevention Australia is the national peak body and we’ve been providing support for Australia’s suicide prevention sector for more than 25 years. We support and advocate for our members to drive continual improvement in suicide prevention policy, programs and services. Our reach is broad, including member organisations, governments, businesses, researchers, practitioners and those with lived experience. We are focused on an integrated approach to suicide prevention encompassing mental health, social, economic and community factors. We believe that through collaborative effort and shared purpose, we can achieve our vision of a world without suicide. https://www.suicidepreventionaust.org/
About Australian Men’s Health Forum
The Australia Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) is the peak body for men’s health in Australia, representing individuals and organisations working to improve the lives and health of men and boys. It traces its history back to the first National Men’s Health Conference in 1995. AMHF takes the view that the health of men and boys in Australia is a collective social issue that is shaped by a range of factors including boys’ education, our experiences of fatherhood, men’s working lives, gender stereotypes and access to male-friendly support services. Improving men and boys' mental health and preventing male suicide is one of the five priority health issues identified in National Men's Health Strategy and a key area of concern for AMHF. https://www.amhf.org.au/