Just take a moment to read that again....
6 out of 8 suicides every single day in Australia are men.
It has been estimated that half of all men have experienced mental heath problems yet men are less likely to visit a health care professional. They keep it to themselves.
It is important to remember that mental health issues aren't all in the mind. The Australian Institute of Male Health Studies (AIMHS) looked a this idea and focused on a different approach to suicide prevention they term the ‘Situational Approach” (paper by Dr. John Ashfield and Mr. Anthony Smith - “Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention”).
They discuss suicide in terms of situational distress rather than a mental illness. It is about human experiences across the life span that can create distress and lead to intentional self harm. In other words, it is the life events negatively impacting their sense of wellbeing and their health.
Example of “situational distress” include sickness, unemployment, financial difficulties, relationship breakdown, bereavement, trauma and alcohol or drugs. These life experiences can cause distress impacting on other risk factors such as mental performance, mood, energy levels, sleep, appetite, anxiety levels, and behavioural changes such as withdrawal, projected anger, uncommunicativeness etc.
For men mental health may need to focus less on disease or illness and more on addressing the situational life events that these men are in before the take their own life.
Disease and illness is not just a result of physical changes. The cause of illness and disease is influenced by a variety of social., cultural, psychological and interpersonal factors. These factors interact together to contribute to ill health. Check in on our men who are in a difficult part of their life. It is an easy message or phone call to let them know they are not alone..