Male suicide prevention policy and advocacy is rapidly evolving, but must step up to ensure male suicide prevention remains a government priority, advocates say.
To support advocacy in men’s mental health during Men's Health Week (14-20 June 2021), the Australian Men's Health Forum (AMHF) released a new report with polling that shows 4 in 5 Australians believe more government funding should be invested in supporting men’s mental health and suicide prevention.
There is a significant disparity in suicide rates between men and women in Australia, with the suicide rate for men three times higher than for women. Leading Australian mental health and suicide prevention organisations are advocating for male suicide to be recognised as a national priority.
The AMHF report says that although men account for 3 in 4 suicides in Australia, auditing has found that up to 4 in 5 clients of government-funded suicide prevention services are women.
AMHF CEO Glen Poole
“We want to see significant funding allocated to suicide prevention programs and services that are specifically targeted at men. Our research shows that the vast majority of Australians would back such a move.”
AMHF has launched a Charter for Men’s Mental Health to guide governments, funders, commissioners and policy makers to make mental health and suicide prevention services better equipped to support men and boys.
Speaking at an online roundtable hosted by AMHF on 11 June, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman MP, raised the importance of investing in male suicide prevention and how the Charter can guide change in existing men’s mental health services.
Mr Coleman highlighted that recent federal funding announced for mental health and suicide prevention would support crisis intervention and improve the ability to identify suicide risk in both men and women.
The roundtable event was supported by a range of speakers including:
Christopher Stone, Suicide Prevention Australia
Dr Zac Seidler, Movember
Dr Neil Hall, Men's Health Information and Resource Centre
Chris Lockwood, MATES In Construction
Ross Arriola, Parents Beyond Breakup
Dr Kylie King, Monash University
Glen Poole, Australian Men's Health Forum