Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Suicide and the separated man

Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony said he is appalled by the latest statistics that reveal one separated man suicides every day in this country.

Mr Anthony said it is heartbreaking that this is happening when help is readily available.

“Separated men have a suicide level six times that of married men, and 12 times that of separated women – a flashing light signalling something seriously wrong,” said Mr Anthony.

“Even without suicide, it is obvious men have problems dealing with separation, many experiencing poor health and wellbeing outcomes up to 10 years after separation.”

Mr Anthony urged men to leave the bravado behind and use the services provided for separated men.

“This Government’s $16.5 million, four-year Men and Family Relationships initiative specifically targets men and fathers.

“The aim is to help men manage a range of relationship difficulties with partners and ex-partners, children and stepchildren and to help organisations develop more sensitive and responsive approaches to working with men,” said Mr Anthony.

Designed to take men’s particular help seeking and problem solving strategies into account, 54 projects have been funded under this initiative.

The services target men at a range of relationship stages, including pre- and post separation, and at particular life and relationship transitions, such as following the birth of a first child and are located in every State and Territory, in metropolitan, rural and regional areas.

“Men should not be scared to put their hand up for help if they need it,” said Mr Anthony.

“Forget politics, forget point scoring, this is about human life, fathers leaving children behind, with the emotional turmoil that brings.”

Details of services available for men as part of the Men and Family Relationships Initiative can be found on the website or by calling 02 6212 9186.