Interesting article on ABC this morning.
Yes, Australia has a suicide issue.
We know, because we’re at the front line dealing with it.
Here’s an insight not covered.
- We know who does it.
- We know how they do it.
- We’re not so good at understanding why, or what to do about it.
Not knowing (or acknowledging) the why is a big part of the issue. If you don’t know why, how do you stop it? And if how we’ve been doing it for decades isn’t working, and is not suited to the problem, maybe that right there is where we should start looking at the issue.
For example, we know that a little over 40% of all suicides where the factors are known relate to relationship breakdown.
That forms the largest single definable group of people taking that final step, so you’d think, that’s where we’d focus the majority of our efforts as a nation.
And, sadly, you’d be mistaken.
We focus in many areas and in many ways in Australia, but our focus on relationship breakdown and especially men in that context is perhaps best described as minimal. Given the gravity of the situation and scale of the problem, you might consider it almost negligible.
Consider this; if the key problem is a challenge that cannot be overcome without specialised practical support, does addressing the matter as a mental health issue help?
Parents Beyond Breakup, and specifically Dads in Distress, is the only national suicide prevention support service for those most at risk.
Each year, based on feedback from those we support, we estimate preventing hundreds of suicides.
Despite this, we deliver our support mostly through the dedication of many hundreds of hard-working and selfless ‘peer’ volunteers. Funding for this extends to less than one-hundredth of 1% of all funding for suicide prevention in Australia. You read that right.
If the services are not there for those that most need them, why are we surprised the numbers keep growing? Continually throwing large sums of money at long-standing solutions that are not having the required impact is at least part of the problem. Maybe that’s a question that needs to be asked by our media.
Original article on ABC website