Time to Act on Male Suicide in Victoria: New Petition
As the Victorian Government prepares to develop a new Suicide Prevention and Response Strategy, the Australian Men’s Health Forum has called for men to be treated as a priority population, requiring specific attention and funding of initiatives that are more effective at reaching those in crisis.
“We’re calling for a suicide prevention action plan in Victoria to target men,” said AMHF CEO Glen Poole at the launch of the new report, Time to Act on Male Suicide in Victoria.
Supporters are invited to sign the Victorian petition, calling on Premier Dan Andrews to target support and funding toward men at risk in future suicide prevention strategies.
Three in four people who die by suicide are men, and in Victoria suicide kills 11 men a week. It is the leading killer of men under 55 in the State.
Poole pointed out that “men fall off the agenda far too quickly,” in suicide prevention policy.
In an analysis of funding following last year’s election, Poole said most of the $800m allocated to mental health and suicide prevention in Victoria went to services that reached more women than men.
“The funding also targets 4 priority populations identified as vulnerable. Men are not included in this list of priority populations.”
He said the point was not to take funding away from services that helped women, however called for financial support to be directed to initiatives and programs that were specifically targeted at reaching men.
“It’s something Victorians want,” he continued. “When you talk people through this issue, the public does not support giving more to one than the other. It should be proportionate to need. There is clear support at a public level to put more support to men’s issues.”
The rates of male suicide have risen by 40% in the past decade. Men account for:
- 71% of suicides linked to divorce/relationship breakdown
- 71.4% of suicides linked to physical illness
- 78.7% of suicides linked to alcohol and/or other drug problems
- 79.3% of suicides linked to being in trouble with the police
- 82.7% of suicides primarily linked to situational factors
- 87.5% of suicides linked to involuntary job loss
Many Victorian men who die by suicide have sought help before their death. One in nine men with a mental health illness accessed treatment, and more than 40% were in contact with welfare services, GPs, legal services and community service providers.
“We are keen to challenge the narrative that men don’t get help – the vast majority are in contact with some type of service," said Poole.
“It is simply false to say men died because they didn’t seek help.
“They are in the system, but they are not getting the help they need.
“We make it an individual problem, rather than a systemic problem.”
Some of the Government actions AMHF is seeking include auditing existing funded services to find out if they are reaching men; support men with lived experience to help improve services; fund grassroots projects run by men, for men; train frontline workers and volunteers on working with men at risk, and fund initiatives that respond to the risk factors for male suicide such as relationship breakdown, financial issues and legal issues.
- Send Victorian Premier Dan Andrews a message
- Download the report Time to Act on Male Suicide in Victoria
- Share our infographic and social media tiles