Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

More help for separated men

 Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today said that men going through separation are more likely to seek help than they were just a few years ago.

Mr Anthony was speaking at the launch of Mensline Australia and Relationships Australia’s new publication Men and Separation Choices In Tough Times.

“Traditionally, men have seen seeking help as a sign of weakness and find it hard to talk openly about their feelings or what is troubling them. While this is still the case for many men, I believe things are changing and many more men are seeking help when they need it.

“The Australian Government has recognised the importance of helping families who have separated or are at risk of separation. The Prime Minister’s establishment of the Inquiry into Child Custody Issues is a good example of this. I believe our commitment has sent a signal to families and has encouraged more men to seek help.

“We have also firmly backed our words and concern with the Men and Family Relationship Program. The program aim is to assist men manage a range of relationship difficulties with partners and ex-partners, children and step-children. Services delivering the program will receive around $4.6 million this financial year.

“Another excellent Australian Government initiative is Mensline Australia – a world’s first Government funded counselling service for men. The service is also a referral service for men, and has been highly successful in increasing men’s access to family support, including following separation. The phone number is 1300 78 99 78.

“There is no doubt that separation can be a traumatic experience for all family members. However, practical tools such as Men and Separation – Choices In Tough Times can provide effective assistance to reduce the impact of family breakdown.

“This easy-to-read booklet invites men to take time out and to think about the difficult choices they face and the consequences of those choices for themselves and other family members.

“The booklet has been compiled by counselling staff from Mensline Australia and Relationships Australia (VIC) who have extensive experience in working with men dealing with separation. It also includes input gathered from men who have been through separation themselves. These organisations received $10,000 from the Australian Government to assist with the development of the booklet.

“I commend Mensline Australia and Relationships Australia (VIC) on this excellent initiative and encourage men who are going through separation to get a copy,” Mr Anthony said.

The booklet, which costs $5, can be ordered through Mensline Australia on 1300 78 99 78 or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277.