Sunday, April 6, 2008

Five Australian men commit suicide each day

As a man who has attempted suicide on a few seperate occasions and failed dismally each time, I thought the following article was interesting.

When I think back to those times it was when the stress of dealing with a relationship breakdown and the fallout that comes with it, overwhelmed me and as a bloke I didnt talk to anyone or ask for help, I just stewed in my own shit but eventually got sick of the stench and survived - GR Klein.

By Kate Corbett March 19, 2008, Courier Mail

FIVE Australian men commit suicide each day compared with just one woman, according to an academic who says the nation urgently needs a national men's health policy. (Click here for more details on the male suicide epidemic or here for more info on problems with Men's Health)

Health professionals, indigenous leaders and other groups met at Parliament House in Canberra today to discuss the need for such a policy.

Before the November election Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced a Labor government would develop a men's health policy to complement the women's policy created 20 years ago.

Professor John Macdonald from the Australasian Men's Health Forum said it was vital men's health was put on the national agenda.

"Five men a day kill themselves in our country, one woman," he said. "That's atrocious - what's the country doing with that now?"

He said it was very old men and those between the ages of 25 and 55 who were killing themselves and there was no national consciousness about it.

"If it were five whales a day ... we'd be out there pushing them back into the sea," he said.
"But five males a day, who knows? Who cares? There's something strange happening."

Prof Macdonald said there was an incorrect assumption in the community that men were doing well and did not need any extra help.

But, he said, a national men's health policy would bring men's issues to the fore and ensure those issues were addressed appropriately.

Psychologist and author Elizabeth Celi said it would be simplistic if that policy just focused on physical problems.

"Physical, psychological, social and family health (must be included) when it comes to a national men's health policy," she said.

Dr Celi said simple gender differences on health matters must be recognised. "There are specific needs that men have with regards to their health.

"And it's something that does need to be acknowledged and recognised on a national level so that as leaders of the country we can all be guided forward with that and really have efficient and effective services to meet their needs."

Prof Macdonald said the problems fathers face when they are separated from their children during family break-ups must also be addressed.

"There's a lot of evidence that that impacts on the stress on your immune system, makes you more vulnerable to not just mental but physical diseases," he said.

The group will report back to Ms Roxon after the meeting and hopes to create a subcommittee to help create the national men's health policy.

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