Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Helping fathers will help kids

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced an additional $150,000 in funding for Men’s Line Australia – an Australian Government initiative providing a national 24 hour telephone counselling and referral service for men.

Operated by Care Ring (Personal Emergency Services Inc.), Men’s Line Australia receives funding of $600,000 a year from the Government.

“Men’s Line Australia is a vital resource for men who need advice on a range of issues such as relationship support, parenting skills, and for those at risk of committing suicide or committing child abuse.

“Since I launched the service in September 2001 the line has attracted more than 148,000 calls to the end of August 2003. Demand continues to grow and this additional funding will enable the service to reach even more men.

“By helping parents, and in this case fathers, we are helping children. Men’s Line Australia provides support for men who often feel lost and alone. Without this support, those feelings can manifest into a tragic situation.

“If this service connects one child with his or her father or helps families deal with separation or saves one life it will be extremely worthwhile,” Mr Anthony said.

(Research has shown that separated men have a suicide rate about 6.2 times that of married men, and about 12 times that of separated women. Women are also more at risk of family violence when they first leave a relationship.)

The number of Men’s Line Australia is 1300 78 99 78 for the cost of a local call*.

*Calls from mobile phones will be charged at local phone rates.