Tasmania promises action on male suicide
Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has committed to tackling male suicide in a new Suicide Prevention Strategy to be published this month.
The announcement follows extensive advocacy and consultative work from Men’s Resources Tasmania (MRT) in partnership with the Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF), through the Time to Act on Male Suicide in Tasmania campaign.
According to a report in The Examiner [paywall], the Premier was addressing Tasmania’s Joint Sessional Committee on Gender and Equality, which called a short inquiry into gendered high rates of suicide ideation and suicide in Tasmania.
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Mr Rockliff said the new strategy will include plans and activities that address the complex issues that contribute to men’s suicide, suicide ideation and suicidal distress. He told the committee:
“We’ve heard that male suicide is more than a mental health issue, it is a complex and social issue caused by a range of factors and requiring a targeted response.” The committee’s short inquiry covered six areas of discussion:
- The social, situational, contextual, and age-related factors that result in high rates of suicide ideation and suicide;
- Causes of gender disparity in rates of suicide ideation and suicide;
- Current prevention and intervention strategies;
- Current funding models;
- Barriers to successfully reducing suicide rates;
- Successful strategies from other jurisdictions that could be considered.
According to The Examiner, the Health Department’s deputy director, Dale Webster, told the inquiry that men in Tasmania are dying from suicide at four times the rate of women.
He said some of the key risk factors for suicide in men were a history of self-harm, disruption of family by separation and divorce, and the disappearance or death of a family member and for older men, loss of activity due to disability.
Tasmania’s new Suicide Prevention Strategy (2023-2027) is expected to be launched next week with specific action to tackle male suicide to be developed in 2023.
You can support the work of AMHF and MRT by joining the Time to Act on Male Suicide campaign today.