Relationship troubles, not mental health, lie behind the plague of male suicides

Relationship troubles, not mental health, lie behind the plague of male suicides, by Bettina Arndt.

Imagine the outcry if a man was appointed head of a leading domestic violence prevention organisation? So how come the federal government has just proudly announced a woman, Christine Morgan, as National Suicide Prevention Officer? This is just the latest move by a government determined to deny the fact that suicide is overwhelmingly a male problem, with six out of eight of our daily suicides taking the lives of men.

Amazingly the recently released National Suicide Prevention Implementation Plan is proudly “gender neutral”, failing to acknowledge that men not only dominate suicide statistics but offering no special programmes to address the unique causes of male suicide, which differ dramatically from those of women who end their own lives. …

Australian research shows over half of all male suicides, 78 per cent of male farmer suicides and 83 per cent of suicides in older men were not predominantly associated with a mental health diagnosis –- according to the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention and other related studies.

The government proudly declares they are working towards a zero suicide goal yet the PM lists as those most at risk, “veterans, Indigenous Australians and young people”. Not one word about the most vulnerable group –- the ordinary men, particularly family men in their 30s and 40s losing their families.

That’s the elephant in the room that our governments are determined to ignore.

There’s solid evidence that the major cause of suicide in this country is not mental health problems but rather the toll taken by family break-up, where fathers often face mighty battles trying to stay part of their children’s lives, up against a biased family law system which fails to enforce contact orders, and often facing false violence allegations which are now routinely used to gain advantage in family court battles.

Research by the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention found that almost half of male suicides are linked with relationship issues, one in 20 are linked to child custody issues, one in 10 to pending legal matters. That’s the glaring gender difference –- with male suicide three to four times more likely than female suicide to be linked to relationship break-up and child custody. …

Whenever there’s a known link to female suicide, like post-partum depression, the money pours in to properly address the problem. Yet men struggling to deal with the devastating consequences of dealing with family break-up are given no support. Key organisations providing support for men in these circumstance – like Dads in Distress – face constant battles for funding.

Can’t afford to upset the feminists, or … what?

via Australian Politics