Suicidal Behaviour In Aussie Men Is Three Times Worse Than Previously Thought
Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44 years old.
Campaigners, policy makers and the general public have been operating under the statistic that around 10,000 men present to hospital emergency rooms following a suicide attempt or suicidal thoughts every year.
But new research shows that the number of men who attempt to take their own lives or are suffering from suicidal thoughts is around three times higher than that figure.
A whopping 30,197 men were treated by paramedics for those two conditions between June 2015 and July 2016.
The reason why the numbers are so far off is because hospitals will typically record one reason for the presentation. So if a man injured himself during a suicide attempt, they would be listed in hospital data as personal injury rather than mental health.
Obviously some hospitals will include the reason behind it, but it's harder for researchers to find these cases when compiling suicide behaviour in Australia.
Turning Point and Monash University has conducted the research, finding that ambulances attend around 82 calls every day for men struggling with their inner demons.
Beyond Blue chair Julia Gillard said: "This research tells us that suicide-related presentations to our health services by men triple when measured by ambulance data rather than hospital data alone.
"It tells us that what we know about male suicide is just the tip of the iceberg."
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Monash University Professor Dan Lubman adds that there needs to be more options for men and women than just a visit to a hospital emergency room.
"We need better options for men who are in suicidal crisis," Prof Lubman said.
"If they don't have life-threatening injuries, they shouldn't be at emergency departments yet paramedics feel they have too few alternatives. Our paramedics need more support and people with acute mental health issues or who feel suicidal need better models of care."
Six Aussie men take their lives every single day and it's clear that more work needs to be done in helping these blokes - as well as women who are struggling as well.
There needs to be more facilities, more services, more options on the table than just calling 000.
If you know someone who is struggling contact these people:
Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636, 24/7
Headspace - 1800 650 890
Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800, 24/7 for people aged between 5 and 25
Lifeline - 13 11 14, 24/7
MensLine Australia - 1300 78 99 78, 24/7
Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467, provides 24/7 support if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal
Featured Image Credit: PA/LADbible