30 January 2020

Movember welcomes Federal Government overhaul of national suicide prevention approach

Today's announcement from Health Minister Greg Hunt 'a big step in the right direction’
Mental Health
1 MIN READ
 
“Moving away from viewing suicide strictly as a medical condition, and instead looking at the array of social and situational stressors which might lead people down that path, is a positive step.”
 

Men’s health charity Movember has welcomed today’s announcement by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to overhaul the national approach to suicide prevention with a $64 million commitment, saying it is a ‘big step in the right direction.’
 
Dr Zac Seidler, Movember Director of Health Professional Training – Mental Health and Suicide Prevention said: “Moving away from viewing suicide strictly as a medical condition, and instead looking at the array of social and situational stressors which might lead people down that path, is a positive step in changing the very nature of how we tackle suicide prevention on a national level.”
 
Late last year, Dr Seidler attended a landmark forum in Canberra on behalf of Movember to contribute to the government’s Towards Zero suicide prevention strategy. The meeting was led by national suicide prevention adviser Christine Morgan and brought together community organisations, the health and government sectors and people whose lives had been affected by suicide.
 
“It’s fantastic to see that many of the issues brought to the table at that forum have been taken into account, particularly in deeming suicide as much a financial, social and employment stress problem as a mental one,” Dr Seidler said.
 
“In line with this, Movember’s approach has always been to ‘go to where men are’. Which is essentially bringing services to men in the community, whether that might be at the pub, in their workplace or out in the surf. This also helps facilitate the social connections that are so vital for people who might be going through a tough time. While men may be visiting a GP or psychologist regularly, let’s not pretend that’s where they spend most of their time.”
 
Movember also welcomed the additional $7 million pledged by the Federal Government to the Beyond Blue Way Back Service, which provides lifesaving service to support people at high risk of suicide. Movember pioneered the program’s success through an initial investment of $2.25 million back in 2013.
 
On average, six men in Australia take their own lives every day and three out of four suicides are by men, making it the biggest killer of males under 45.

Movember encourages people to reach out to the men in their lives, start conversations, ask the deeper question and listen to what they have to say. You don’t need to be an expert to help someone else, or be the sole solution. But being there for them, listening and giving your time can be life-saving.
 
If you’re concerned about your mental health, or a mate’s mental health, Movember recommends encouraging them to see a doctor, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on how to seek help, visit movember.com/findhelp