Anti-men campaign really is vile and blinkered.
By Corrine Barraclough
So, The Red Heart Campaign wants to attempt to belittle the connection between the soaring male suicide crisis, relationship breakdown and custodial issues?
Wow, your anti-men campaign really is vile and blinkered.
You can call me a “misogynist” for having compassion for both genders and hurl insults all you like – I know you are wrong.
You cannot look at the issue of male suicide independently; you cannot pretend to care about men without acknowledging the impact of policy on men’s lives.
Tanveer Ahmed, psychiatrist and author of Fragile Nation tells MLO,
1) Of course relationship breakdown and custody battles affect men.
“Suicide is multi-factorial. It is ridiculous to think or say that relationship stressors don’t affect men, just as they affect women; relationship breakdown is a key contributor. Often people have their own vulnerabilities so they could be more susceptible to the loss of a relationship, or a job for instance. Men often lose their social networks in their 30s and 40s as they slip into the ‘provider role’. They have a greater emotional dependence upon their spouse and feel the loss more acutely. Women tend to be better at maintaining their social networks. This makes men more susceptible to the effects of relationship loss or custodial battles.
What I see clinically is men often find the Family Court extremely difficult, it is one place where all manner of accusations are accepted until disproven. Their identity as a father in particular often takes a battering. The concept of innocent until proven guilty does not apply here.”
Pete Nicholls, CEO, Parents Beyond Breakup offers the next six things to say:
2) Growing evidence shows male suicide is connected to “situational distress”
“Sherelle Moody is right to say that statistics are vital tools used by governments and not-for-profits when making decisions about where to direct cash and resources. She is also right to say that the ABS does not currently collect data on the link between family law matters and suicide. She is wrong, however, to suggest that no such evidence exists. There is a common misconception that male suicide is predominantly associated with diagnosed mental health issues, however there is growing evidence that male suicide in particular is often, if not mostly, associated with “situational distress” and examples in Australia would be situations such as separation.”
3) Beyond Blue do have an opinion
“According to Dr Stephen Carbone of Beyond Blue, ‘it’s not just those with mental health concerns that can lead to one contemplating taking their life. There are other major risk factors, like a relationship breakup or a financial crisis.” To say Beyond Blue has no opinion is simply wrong; it also links to the World Health Organisation document Preventing Suicide A Global Imperative Myth’ which states '"Heightened suicide risk is often short-term and situation-specific.""
4) Lifeline also recognise the role relationship breakdown can play
“This position is supported by Alan Woodward of Lifeline who says: ‘Regardless of what mental health issues surround a suicidal person, it is likely that the crisis state that they are experiencing is fuelled by specific negative life events such as relationship breakdown’.”
5) A quarter of men who suicide have experienced relationship breakdown
“In terms of statistics on the correlation between male suicide and relationship separation, the most reliable source of data comes from the Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP), which is recognized as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention. Based on AISRAP’s research into the coronial reports collected in the Queensland Suicide Register, is that nearly a quarter of men who die by suicide have experienced relationship separation, making them four times more likely to suicide than separated women.”
6) We must acknowledge societal causes of male suicide
“Suicide kills six men a day in Australia, with men three times more likely to take their own lives than women. If we are serious about tackling this issue, then we need to put more focus into the societal factors that are known to increase men’s risk of suicide. It has long been known that relationship separation is one of the major risk factors for male suicide, which is just one reason there is an urgent need to invest more time, money and resources into making services like the highly successful Dads In Distress programs available to separated men all over Australia.”
7) Shouldn’t we all be working together?
“Not knowing the exact figure is not a reason to avoid addressing the very real and present problem.”
One thing’s for sure. Anti-men messaging from fierce feminist organisations and anti-male policy is not helping our male suicide crisis. Deny that? You’re denying the truth.
Dads in Distress Helpline: 1300 853 437