Warning: This article contains mentions of suicide. If you or someone you love needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
International Mens Day is an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful things men bring to their families, our communities and the world. By highlighting positive role models, this day aims to encourage men to teach the boys in their lives the character, values and responsibilities of being a man.
November 19 is International Mens Day. This year, the theme is ‘Zero Male Suicide’.
We don’t need to look far to see that men are facing huge challenges in relationships, health and finances. Tragically, we are losing way too many men to suicide, in what Professor Dan Bilsker from Vancouver Psych Health and Safety calls “a silent epidemic of male suicide.”
One suicide is one too many. And the numbers are staggering.
Tragically, 452 000 men commit suicide each year across the world, while current research tells us men have a suicide rate 3 times higher than women and that 1 in 3 men have been the victims of domestic violence. On average, men die 4-5 years before women and are nearly twice as likely as women to suffer from both lung cancer and heart disease, according to International Mens Day.
The month of November is set aside to celebrate men and raise awareness of men’s health. As the leading charity working towards changing the face of men’s health, Movember provides all of us with the perfect opportunity to start important conversations with the men in our life.
Throughout November we see well-manicured moustaches begin to appear, as well as buses proudly wearing big black moustache stickers as they travel throughout our streets. These moustaches are visible reminders that we all need to get better at having important conversations with men about health – and especially mental health. They are visibly challenging each one of us to do whatever we can to create a society in which the phrase “it ain’t weak to speak” is more than a bumper sticker, but a deeply held belief by all of us.
We must work together to provide the support and encouragement needed to turn this around by creating a safe, fair society in which everyone has the opportunity to prosper.
Together we can stop male suicide.
If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help available.
- Lifeline Australia: a 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention service. Call 13 11 14 (24 hours, 7 days) or visit lifeline.org.au.
- Suicide Call Back Service: This is a nationwide service that provides professional 24-hour phone and online counselling to people who are affected by suicide. Call 1300 659 467 (24 hours, 7 days) or visit suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
- Beyond Blue: Providing support programs to address issues related to depression, suicide, anxiety disorders and other related mental illnesses. Call 1300 22 4636 or chat online at beyondblue.org.au.
- Hope 103.2 Careline: Call the Hope 103.2 Careline for support and prayer on 02 7227 5533 (free call) on weekdays between 9am-11pm, including Public Holidays.
Featured image by Canva Pro