​Suicide prevention in focus: supporting men’s mental health

Posted 9th November 2018 by Jessica Weiland

With November currently shining the spotlight on the topic of male mental health, the Life in Mind team have taken a closer look at why men are an important population to consider when it comes to suicide prevention.

Suicide prevention as a whole requires coordinated and combined effort from all levels of government, health care systems, front-line health and community groups, as well as individuals, families and communities.

While this collaborative approach is vital, it is important to note that specific age groups and demographics within populations have been identified as experiencing higher rates of suicidal behaviour than the general population.

One of these populations are men, with the rate of suicide for men in Australia currently sitting at approximately three times that of the rate for women.

The causes of male suicide are complex and multifaceted and it is important to note that not all men will experience suicidal behaviours or thoughts.

The nature of male suicide is often impulsive and a tragic response to a traumatic situation, however the presence of a range of protective factors can assist in reducing the risk of suicide.

This includes the strength of their personal relationships, parental responsibility, religious beliefs, employment, marriage, as well as strong cultural and community links.

When it comes to supporting people who may be at risk or vulnerable to suicide, including men, ground breaking research has shown has found a large percentage of people feel only a skilled professional can assist someone at risk of suicide.

The research which was commissioned by Beyond Blue and completed by the University of Melbourne was included part of the recent #YouCanTalk campaign.

This campaign highlighted that that individuals don’t need to be a clinician, GP or nurse to check in with a man or person they are worried about.

Everymind Suicide Prevention Project Lead Amanda McAtamney said equipping communities to have the confidence to start conversations about suicide is just one of the ways people can support vulnerable people in their life.

“Building capacity so people can have open and honest safe conversations about suicide is incredibly important,” She said.

“While the mental health and wellbeing of men during November is important, it is also vital that communities continue to have these safe conversations throughout the year."

Life in Mind provides the platform for people to access national resources and links to assist in having these safe #YouCanTalk conversations with the people they care about, including the men in their life.”

Find more information and resources on #YouCanTalk via: https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/youcantalk

Support the spotlight on men’s mental health during November via Movember. Find more info via: https://www.lifeinmindaustralia.com.au/organisations/the-movember-foundation