Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre
A review of the current approach to suicide prevention

Suicide is perhaps the most gendered health issue with a proportion of around four males for every female. The issues and contexts of suicide are complex and it is a product of many factors which makes it a difficult problem to address. These resources offer some of the personal insights into the causes and factors that lead to suicide in men. These personal accounts offer perhaps a more valuable set of insights into why ending life becomes the only option for many men and boys.

Are Farming-Related Suicides Different in Rural Australia?

Rural Australians experience a range of health inequities—including higher rates of suicide—when compared to the general population. This retrospective cohort study compares demographic characteristics and suicide death circumstances of farming- and non-farming-related suicides in rural Victoria with the aim of: (a) exploring the contributing factors to farming-related suicide in Australia’s largest agricultural producing state; and (b) examining whether farming-related suicides differ from suicide in rural communities. Farming-related suicide deaths were more likely to: (a) be employed at the time of death (52.6% vs. 37.7%, OR = 1.84, 95% CIs 1.28–2.64); and, (b) have died through use of a firearm (30.1% vs. 8.7%, OR = 4.51, 95% CIs 2.97–6.92). However, farming-related suicides were less likely to (a) have a diagnosed mental illness (36.1% vs. 46.1%, OR=0.66, 95% CIs 0.46–0.96) and, (b) have received mental health support more than six weeks prior to death (39.8% vs. 50.0%, OR = 0.66, 95% CIs 0.46–0.95). A range of suicide prevention strategies need adopting across all segments of the rural population irrespective of farming status. However, data from farming-related suicides highlight the need for targeted firearm-related suicide prevention measures and appropriate, tailored and accessible support services to support health, well-being and safety for members of farming communities. View Full-Text

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Reducing distress in the community following the COVID-19

Suicide Prevention Australia and Wesley Mission are calling on government to provide increased support to Australians experiencing distress following the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Titled Reducing distress in the community following the COVID-19 pandemic, the new white paper highlights broader social and economic factors causing distress in the community: stepping away from a mental health specific approach.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a unique health crisis and one that has touched the lives of thousands directly affected by the virus, as well as their loved ones”, said Nieves Murray, CEO of Suicide Prevention Australia.

Reducing distress in the community following the COVID-19 pandemic provides a roadmap of proposals to address the ongoing needs of people during and after the pandemic response measures.

Key recommendations include:

1. Increase the base rate of JobSeeker (NewStart) and extend JobKeeper past September.

2. Build domestic and family violence workforce capacity to screen for mental health issues and suicide risk.

3. Invest in mental health screening and a model of care for retirement villages.

4. Deliver a national survey into the impacts of COVID-19 on the mental health of Australians.

5. Fund screening and tailored suicide prevention training for frontline hospital staff faced with alcohol and other drug issues.

6. Extend the moratorium on evictions and address long-term housing and accommodation needs through the recovery phase of COVID-19.

7. Promote fact-based sources of information on COVID-19.

You can read the full white paper here

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Suicide: Predicting The Unpredictable - By Medical Forum

Suicide prevention is the hardest in the hard basket, but data and strategic thinking are making the impossible seem possible.

Mental health is difficult: It’s difficult to diagnose, to treat, to predict and to understand. Suicide is beyond difficult as there are so many individual factors that lead to someone intentionally taking their life which makes it a uniquely problematic phenomenon to research.

This is reflected in the national suicide rate, which has gradually risen in the past 10 years. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2008, suicide was the leading cause of death among people aged 15-44 in Australia.

Read the full article here.

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Penrith Men's Walk & Talk

The weekly walk begins and ends at the Nepean River Coffee Club and follows the bridge to bridge Great River Walk which is about 6.4km long and takes around an hour and ten minutes. But there are no strict rules if you’re unable to walk the entire way or can’t stay the whole time. Watch the video here

Details:
When: Weekly on a Thursday
Time: 5pm for a 6pm sharp walk
Where: The Coffee Club, Nepean River
Cost: Free

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Tackling the Challenge

For me, catching up with a group of mates on the weekend and and talking openly about my week is good for my mental health.” Andy Davies. 

Tackling the Challenge: Talking Local Men’s Health is a project looking to make a lasting and positive impact on local men’s familiarity and interaction of men’s health issues through the telling of local men’s stories of thriving in times of hardship. For more information about this project, please visit: http://www.wingecarribeehealthassociationformen.org/projects.htmlhttp://www.wingecarribeehealthassociationformen.org/projects.html 

For more information or to get involved contact:
Brendan Bennett
Mental Wellbeing Health Promotion Officer
South Western Sydney Local Health District
(02) 9616 4048
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Peter Van Dort
Wingecarribee Community Health Centre
(02) 4861 800

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 12

The Situational Approach is being promoted by Mengage at MHIRC (WSU) and The Bulletin is published monthly.  Prepared by: Anthony Smith; Editor: Shravankumar Guntuku.

The Situational Approach - A new approach to suicide prevention: This approach acknowledges the predominant association of situational distress, rather than mental illness, with suicide (though in some cases the two are linked), and is principally informed by and responds to risk factors of a broad spectrum of difficult human experiences across the life span. This approach is also mindful of and wherever possible seeks to address: contextual, systemic, and socio-cultural risk and protective factors and determinants: the real world of individuals’ lived experience.

Contents of this issue:

WHO Report: Mental health, resilience and inequalities                                                                        
The impact of socioeconomic factors on mental health and the case for collective action              
The social determinants of mental health: an overview and call to action.                                      
Dying from Inequality – Samaritans Report UK 2017                                                                                   
In our Words – Launch of the Booklet of Stories from “The Shed in Mt. Druitt” on International Men’s Day

Read the full article here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 11

The Situational Approach - A new approach to suicide prevention: This approach acknowledges the predominant association of situational distress, rather than mental illness, with suicide (though in some cases the two are linked), and is principally informed by and responds to risk factors of a broad spectrum of difficult human experiences across the life span. This approach is also mindful of and wherever possible seeks to address: contextual, systemic, and socio-cultural risk and protective factors and determinants: the real world of individuals’ lived experience.

The approach is being promoted by Mengage at MHIRC (WSU)

The Situational Approach Bulletin is published monthly on Mengage.

Contents of this issue:

New Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) Report confirms the importance of the Situational Approach

Language and the mental illness ideology

Belgium Leadership – challenging the mental illness ideology

It’s Time to Stop Blaming Men for Their Mental Health Woes

Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC. WSU Prepared by Anthony Smith; Edited by Shravankumar Guntuku, Read the full article here

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Every life: The Queensland Suicide Prevention Plan 2019-2029

Every life: The Queensland Suicide Prevention Plan 2019-2029 (Every life) was launched on World Suicide Prevention Day, 10 September 2019, by the Hon Dr Steven Miles, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services.

Every life, a renewed whole-of-government approach to suicide prevention, outlines Queensland Government led actions which aim to bring about a meaningful reduction in suicide over the next decade. Actions will engage government, non-government, community and private sectors partners. The plan, informed by extensive consultation with a broad range of stakeholders including people with a lived experience, is built across four areas:

  • •             Building resilience by improving wellbeing in our people and communities
  • •             Reducing vulnerability by strengthening support to vulnerable people
  • •             Enhancing responsiveness to suicidality
  • •             Working together to achieve more

Every life recognises that suicide is preventable and emphasises the vital importance of working together to reduce suicide. It acknowledges that effective suicide prevention requires responses beyond health services and must incorporate the voices of people with lived experience.

Understanding that change will take time, Every life is a 10-year plan with three distinct phases. Each phase will be reviewed and refreshed, with the second and third phases building on achievements and learnings from the previous phase.

Phase One has been backed by an $80.1 million commitment as part of the 2019 Queensland Budget, with investments in initiatives including mental health supports in schools, enhancements to crisis care, and community-led approaches to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth suicide prevention.

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention; MHIRC - Issue 10

We are pleased to be able to say that we may be having some influence in how we think about suicide. As a result of people reading the Bulletin, we are being approached from people around the country to discuss and publicise our views. Two recent examples:

  1. September 2 we were featured in the Mercury (Hobart) newspaper https://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-suicide-is-about-more-than-mental-illness/news-story/4eb34e82c4a90713e9910177d39614d2 You can access through the MHIRC Facebook link https://www.facebook.com/westsydumhirc

Talking Point: Suicide is about more than mental illness

  1. September 12 - a radio interview for Dads on the Air [to be aired Sept 12]
A Paradigm Shift in Suicide Prevention

Contents of this issue:

Publicity of the Situational Approach

Social Determinants of Mental Health

Men’s Mental Health

Harm from antidepressants

Read the full article here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC: Bulletin 9

Welcome to the ninth edition of our Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention Bulletin.We welcome feedback, and would of course be very happy to have a conversation with any people or organisations who are working in this vital area.

 
 

Contents of this issue:

Welcoming Ms. Christine Morgan as National Suicide Prevention Adviser

Challenging the ADHD consensus

It’s not mental illness but despair

PsychWatch Australia - Scrutinising Mental Health Policy + Practice

The Global ‘Mental Health’ Movement – Cause For Concern

Resources – youcanhelp

In Our Words

 

Read the full artcle here

 

 

 

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 8

The Situational Approach - A new approach to suicide prevention: This approach acknowledges the predominant association of situational distress, rather than mental illness, with suicide (though in some cases the two are linked), and is principally informed by and responds to risk factors of a broad spectrum of difficult human experiences across the life span. This approach is also mindful of and wherever possible seeks to address: contextual, systemic, and socio-cultural risk and protective factors and determinants: the real world of individuals’ lived experience.

The approach is being promoted by Mengage at MHIRC (WSU) and we welcome the words of the newly appointed National Suicide Prevention Adviser, Ms, Christine Morgan, quoted in the SMH (July 15th) as saying:

"We have to look further upstream, right away from the immediate suicide crisis. Are there things happening to people that we can work on that might stop them. Let's take ourselves outside health and look at some of the other risk factors and see if by addressing those we get some change."

MHIRC runs a drop in centre for Suicide prevention in Western Sydney on this basis and is looking for other projects with this approach.

The Situational Approach Bulletin is published monthly on Mengage.

Contents of this issue:

  1. International confirmation of key tenets of the ‘Situational Approach’
  2. UN statement challenging ‘biomedical model of ‘mental health’
  3. Belgium – Superior Health Council
  4. PsychWatch
  • Latest blogs
  • Seven year old girl on antidepressants

Also

In our Words - Charles

Read the full article here 

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 7

Contents of this issue:

Mortality of People Using Mental Health system and Prescription Medications

Medicalisation-nation: Australia’s growing public policy dependence on drugs

Primary Health Networks caught between a rock and a hard place

How big pharma gets what it wants

Mental Health Concerns Not “Brain Disorders,” Say Researchers

Launch of Mad in Sweden

In Our Words - Buddy

Read the full content here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 4

Contents of this issue:

Creating a National Data Matrix – for Effective Situational Suicide Prevention

A ‘Situational Approach’ to Mental Health Literacy in Australia

'Pathways to despair : a study of male suicide (aged 25-44)

Suicide Deaths and Employment Status


Read full content here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 2

Inside this issue:

  • UN Paper
  • Sir Michael Marmot visits Mt Druitt Shed
  • The Situational Approach –Deficits of the Current Approach
  • Dr John Ashfield feature in newsletter NSW The Country Web 
Read the full content here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 6

Contents of this issue:

Men’s Health Week: 2019

The Situational Approach on the International Stage

GP training in the UK

Mental Health and Children

- The alarming impact of the diagnostically-based paradigm of care on children

- Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children

Suicidality in Children and Adolescents Being Treated With Antidepressant Medications

“Mental Health Awareness” and Schoolchildren

Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Literacy - ADVOCATING FOR A NE W MUL TI-SECTOR AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH

Read Full article here

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC - Issue 5

Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention MHIRC. WSU ed Anthony Smith - Bulletin no. 4

Contents of this issue:

A Strong Mission Statement for Mad In the UK

Community-led solutions are key to reducing Aboriginal youth suicide

Meta-analysis Finds Asking About Suicidal Thoughts Does Not Predict Suicide

Scholars Respond to the APA’s Guidance for Treating Men and Boys

Leadership coming from the Sporting Journalism

The Shed – Mt Druitt: In Our Words

Read the full article here

 

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Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention Bulletin Issue 3

Welcome to the third edition of our Situational Approach to Suicide Prevention Bulletin. We are hopeful of a big 2019; certainly the response to the Situational Approach on the international stage is very encouraging.

Contents of this issue:

  • The Situational Approach on the International Stage
        Health Specialist training in UK
        'Madness of our Mental Health System’ published in Mad in America
  • Suicide and mental disorders: A discourse of politics, power, and vested interests
  • Communications and mass media – suicide prevention and mental health literacy 
Read the full bulletin here. 

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Vets abandon profession as suicide rate remains high

Australia has been in the grips of a national veterinarian shortage as vets leave the profession due to long working hours, "emotional blackmail" and prolonged stress. Read more here. 

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