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Suicide rates spark calls for men's health policy

Five Australian men commit suicide each day compared to just one woman, according to an academic who says the nation urgently needs a national men's health policy.


Politicians are generally not the most insightful, intelligent people in the world - they just posses the 'right' sort of characteristics to get elected. I Think you need to modify your expectations.

Convincing a politician to do anything is a difficult task (let alone understand anything) - many of them are too busy concentrating on what they read in the media or how their own position in the party is going or how much political damage they can cause the other side.

I suppose even the ones who feel they have something to offer and strive to become 'powerful' so they can 'make a difference'  - realize very quickly - how little they know and can achieve once they 'get there'.

There are many ways to influence change and improvements - and they all have to be done  - talking to politicians, calling people, writing alternative articles in the media, publishing books, humour, international influence,  international law, rights, etc - until it becomes common sense. We all know people who have committed suicide, died young, been pushed to the limit and under extreme duress. Some people don't seem to appreciate WHY or understand it could happen to them or their family - and then when it does - suddenly they learn and grow a bit.

There is still a lot of growing to do for many people.

But unless we have a society where people are prepared to think (use their brain) and care (have some sense of the people around them) and become less self centered (the what about me and me too generations) then it is going to be even harder.

This government seems quite happy to kill men by war - why not (they think), mental stress, financial hardship, lack of support, legal restraints, removal of children and assets, constant public vilification, lack of care, etc

Collectively (as I said at the start ) i consider them culpable.

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
monaro said
…I also pointed out that 5 men a day commit suicide and we are in urgent need of a mens health policy?
I am glad this question was raised with the Honourable (time will tell)
ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
The Hon Robert McClelland, MP Federal Attorney General. We were in Canberra in March see the Men and Fathers Health Forum link . Please review the documents related to this as you will see what the Federal Government is involved in and supposedly working to deliver under the last minute election promise. You may want to prepare for those sorts of meetings with some up to date information so please do not hesitate to ask in the forums for the latest news.

In respect to the first part of your statement. I must say I have see this statistic for many years now, it is quoted at every conference. Do you have any information on what age groups this statistic is applied to, the analysis research paper where this has come from? and do you know of any longitudinal studies that are on going in this area of research that we may get some updates on the current situation?

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
There is information posted on this site by dad4life who seems to have disappeared of late?
Post#8201 will show some statistics, prof john MacDonald may be able to better guide you on this topic, i will also bring it up on the dids meeting for discussion tomorrow

Also see Walter Schneider's Fathers for Life site for more details and statistics about suicide in Australia:

Family Breakdown and Suicide in Australia

Suicide rates in countries throughout the world

He also has a copy of the DIDS Save the Males poster.

Last edit: by OneRingRules

The statistics are very interesting (although sad) on this issue.
I don't think you can attribute the male as a victim in divorce as a cause as all of the statistics disprove this.
If you look at the statistics since 1921, the rate has remained the same…the ratio of male to female suicide has hovered around the 4:1 mark. This covers all age groups including teenagers and the elderly.

The state with the highest rate of suicides is Northern Territory which suggests a race related issue and not divorce.

In 1976 the no fault divorce was introduced and the divorce rate went through the roof and yet the suicide rate did not increase at all and in fact declined.
The median ages for male suicides also do not tally up with the statistics for marriages and divorces.

Perhaps someone with a more analytical approach could shed more light on this issue? I agree something needs to be done about the rate but if what I have read is correct then this is not an issue for Family Law.
monaro said
There is information posted on this site by dad4life who seems to have disappeared of late?

Who is taking a well earned break from the forums and working his way through other material for the site.

Remember the forums are only quarter of this site.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
LifeInsight the statistics available to do not offer reasons for any suicides at all but if you look at geography, demographic and social issues you see that the statistics do not support the direct link to marriage break down. For instance the statistical ratio of 4 -5 men for every woman is across all age groups. Not too many 15 year olds experiencing divorce or relationship breakdown as I know it…the same with the aged population. Also the fact that the state with most of the suicides is in NT, if you look at the corresponding marriage and de facto relationships in NT, the rate is not higher so it suggests a completely different reason.
The 1930's experienced a definite increase due to the depression.
The no fault divorce introduced in 1976 would have seen a marked increase if the male suicide rate was directly attributable and yet there was a decrease.
Like I said I can't see how it really relates to Family Law.
From the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Aphrodite said
From the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Has anyone any recent links with up to date ABS data and done any dissemination on stats? Rather than just publish links to massive 200 page documents if you can post key data that would be indexed by our search engine that would be good. Just post the key points into a forum post or if too large submit to the library via the file upload system.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
 Was my post helpful? If so, please let others know about the FamilyLawWebGuide whenever you see the opportunity
Any focus on mean would be welcome as the stage has been dominated by women for too long . Equality would be good. Men are being costantly destroyed by:
  1. death - suicide
  2. illnesses
  3. Work accidents
  4. Financial ruin
  5. loss of family
  6. homelessness
  7. constant public vilification and negative stereotyping
  8. wars
and more

We all know this - its a simple observable fact.

The reason for this is to completely focus on women so women can be given more money - this is despite the fact that the whole population numbers are skewed towards women. The reason that same sex couples are being made legal and can create babies is because men are happily being destroyed - i.e. its not a policy of this government to have equal numbers of men and women - they are happy let men die.

In fact when a man dies they say 'what about the poor wife and kids left behind' - does this sound weird to ANYONE OUT THERE?

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough
It's interesting how it depends on the "spin" of the person collecting them.

Suicide used to be taboo in a lot of religions, now it is more accepted as something to record.

I wouldn't be surprised if suicide went UP during the war but there were a lot more "accidents" with guns as it would (in the society of the day) be easier to bury a "hero" in a tragic accident than a suicide.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Unless you can contact the other side and collate information given from those who died as to the reason they died and how many where suicide the truth will only be a guess and unless those who did commit suicide give their reasons for this we will never truly know why they did it.

But one thing remains true and that is more of the awareness and treatment dollars are given to womens causes even though more men may be dieing.

We see the truth in that everyday.

And thats an injustice whether they are associated with the break down of a relationship or not.

Who cares if they are associated with a cause or how long it's been going on for there just needs to be more of a social network to help reduce the deaths.
D4E said
Unless you can contact the other side and collate information given from those who died as to the reason they died and how many where suicide the truth will only be a guess and unless those who did commit suicide give their reasons for this we will never truly know why they did it.

There have been some studies done that seek to do something very close to  that - ask the people who have died what their reasons where.

Rather than contacting the other side, those types of studies have looked into as much personal and demographic information as they could get for as many suicides as they could.

But, you are right.  Any such study is still only a best guess.

I have looked very closely at the ABS statistics and various interpretations of them.  I personally don't think there is any one really valid interpretation of the part played by any particular cause. 

I personally think that the only statistic that really matters is the one that says that people, men more than women, young and old more than middle-aged, are taking their own lives.

Some research into reasons may be useful to identify risk factors, and some is being done.

What I really think matters, personal opinion only, is that adequate support services should be provided immediately for people who self-identify or are otherwise identified as being at risk.

Anything that is identified by research into suicide as being a systemic contributor to risk also needs to be addressed, but that takes time, so why wait?
Even one man dead once a year for preventable causes is one too many for me, whatever the unerlying reason.

As for cultural or legal biases being a cause of suicide, with respect, I don't think that we need to wait on research results to justify action on that either. There is plenty of evidence that men are seriously aggrieved by the current proccesses, so there is clearly work to be done.

A lot of the time people tend to forget that many of the people we communicate with on the forums/portals are already well on the way too near combat fatigue conditioning, this is to say they they have, are and will suffer extremely high stress levels filled with euphoric highs to devastating lows on and rapid and constant level.

There are not many I've conversed with that have not been or did not contemplate suicide including myself. They are the high percentage of separation statistics and by the grace of humanity they still soldier on that I am aware of.

These people may not even be statistic or they may be the forefront of statistics but in saying this it was not their suicidal tendencies that brought them to notice but rather their desperation for help concerning their children.

Many men still do not have the ability to risk asses their own life and they need an opportunity to be drawn into conversation and even then still clumsy when trying to talk about things. Perhaps this could be one impacting reason why more focus needs to be put on advertising that steers away from the generic depressive alcoholic who drinks alone.

It's a bit of cultural constipation in this area.

The whole issue is so complex that it may take years for the message to pass through about it being OK to seek and ask for help or for that even recognize it.

It really does need to start A.S.A.P and I agree with most of what your saying I just think that those who can self identify seek help and those who are at the most risk display this in a different way than to ask for help or talk.

It has always been the case statistical information can be used in a way to benefit a cause providing the right questions are asked, so if the questions are known the answers are speculative towards the answer required.

What are the questions that will get men talking about what ails them and where can they go for that help ?

Some of the helplines have you agreeing that you have another problem before they can help, this is a statistical minefield, that leaves one empty.   
Imagine going through a process so heavily weighted against you, where the injustices are high, the outcomes are devastating and it goes on for years with government systems abusing you.
You are not believed - whole systems are set up to ignore you or prove you wrong, the media and society seem oblivious to the issues (in general - not your personal case).

Post traumatic stress is real. Divorce and break up (for men) i would argue - and others already have - is THE MOST TRAUMATIC EVENT in your life  (the first time)

 Maybe I am not explaining myself well enough

 many that have been delt this blow even though alive -  are "living dead", when you take ones spirit, ones child, ones liberty under false pretence what do you have?

A lot of the suffering isn't seen and is only known by the partners of the those who are in the arena.

Some conceptions are if you have a knew partner that you have moved on, yet reality is somewhat different.

There is still a lot of stereo typing out there and in some cases it's promoted by the father who is cast in what he believes he has to be, we can at time be our worse enemy.

We really do need to be re-educated about equal rights and the true concept of them.

It makes me wonder how many of those who are suicidal are totally missed by the system, those who self medicate by alcohol, soft drugs, hard drugs and prescription medication. Those who have the sedate " Death wish " where one day they purposefully push too hard too fast. And those of us who need pain to live because pain makes you forget those horrible feeling inside you much like a heroin junkie trying to just get back to normal by another hit.

Could you get " real " men to admit to any of those things ??? would they even recognise them and if they did would they seek help.

Like you say Monaro the living dead, shell shocked and wounded I should think a lot from separation.

Perhaps for more reasons than just separation but separation could well be the catalyst in many cases and maybe this could be an entry point of help.

The only conclusion that can be drawn from the official statistics is that more men commit suicide than women.
This regrettable and I completely agree that there needs to be some action, especially in consideration of the younger age groups.
Divorce and separation are devastating for everyone involved, children and grandparents too. No-one is immune to the stress of the situation and to try to confine the consequences to men only is a far reach.
I still have not found any statistics that detail the reasons for male suicides and until then would treat cautiously any assumed correlation between the available statistics and favoured cause. To do other wise, especially when the available data seems to contradict the claims, is irresponsible and not helping your cause at all.
Does anyone know of any groups set up to examine the data and attempt to do something about it?
Aphrodite said
Does anyone know of any groups set up to examine the data and attempt to do something about it?

There are several groups out there doing  research.  As far as I can see, most are just putting various interpretations on the ABS data without looking into individual cases or circumstances.

This one from Griffith University sounds promising to me.  It is obviously not based on suicide data per se, but it gets to the heart of the matters you raised.

 Funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), 2005-2008
Marriage or De Facto separation can be extremely stressful and often causes significant emotional distress. It has also been reported that the separation process plays an important role in the development of suicidal behaviours. However little is known about what causes the most distress and at what point during the separation process. This information is crucial for the development of appropriate support for people who are going through separation.
The Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP), Griffith University is conducting a study which looks at the impact of separation on men's psychological health and development of suicidal behaviours. This study has ethical clearance from the Griffith University Human Ethics Committee (CSR/03/04/HREC).
The participation recruitment phase of the study has now closed. Thank you very much for your support.
 A summary of the study results will hopefully be available on this web page in August this year.

Contact Details

Postal Address:
Griffith University
 Reply Paid 61015
 170 Kessels Road
 Nathan Qld 4111

Thanks Katie. I will be sure to follow it up when they have their results published.
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