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 Meet some of the men who’ll die this week

12.06.19. Based on analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2017, 2348 blokes died by suicide across the country. That means this week, roughly 45 men will take their own lives. How can that be? We all know someone who committed suicide. When it happens to a friend we blame ourselves for not doing anything to stop it but the truth is we probably didn’t know it was going to happen. We need to watch out for our mates and if we have any doubts about their mental health, talk to them and let them know you’re there for them. Encourage them to get professional help. Sadly though the while the numbers are shocking, they don’t paint a picture of the indiscriminate and tragic nature of male suicide.To discuss the issue meaningfully News Ltd goes beyond that enormous number — 2348 — to introduce you to some of the men who’ll die this week.
PAUL, 35, CONDOBOLIN, NEW SOUTH WALES
The highest number of deaths by suicide this week will be in Paul’s 30-39 years age group. Ten men will perish.
Paul lives in a rural or regional setting, just like the 26 other blokes who will die this week, and is likely to work in a manual labour job, be it construction or agriculture.
Support services out his way are lacking or non-existent, but even if there were adequate options, Paul would be unlikely to reach out for help.
Of course, he’s not alone. Roughly, one man engages with a mental health service when they need it for every three women who do.
Instead, Paul will suffer in silence. Those around him will be caught completely off guard when he takes his own life in the coming days.
And the method he will choose is likely to be violent in nature.
JACK, 15, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
The number of boys Jack’s age and younger who took their own lives in 2017 increased by 77 per cent.
Like the vast majority of other men, Jack knows something isn’t right but won’t speak up or reach out for help.
But he’s in a particularly vulnerable age group. Rates of suicide begin to increase sharply among teenagers aged 15 to 19.
Jack probably struggles with a mood disorder, be in depression or anxiety, but his symptoms are likely to be misinterpreted as just typical young boy stuff.
Moody. Angry. Acting out.
There’s a good chance Jack’s life looks pretty good from the outside, be it his sporting prowess or happy family life.
ADAM, 28, AURUKUN, QUEENSLAND
Of the 45 men to die by suicide this week, 3 will involve Indigenous men.
Adam is one of them, living in a remote or regional area that is severely under-resourced — symptomatic of the broader failure of Indigenous community support.
Suicide is the second biggest killer of Indigenous men. Of all suicide deaths among our first peoples, 78 per cent are males.
Adam almost certainly has an untreated mental illness and is likely to battle with alcohol or drug use for which he also won’t receive support.
Unlike non-Indigenous men, his death probably won’t get as much attention, but his devastated loved ones will grieve just as hard.
KEITH, 52, KARRATHA, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Men working in the mining industry are at significantly higher risk of suicide than most other industries.
The pressures, physical toll, isolation and demanding nature of fly-in, fly-out work means Keith has been struggling for a while now.
Other factors, ranging from marriage breakdown to financial stress and alcoholism, put him at increased risk of mental illness.
After peaking in the 40s age bracket, suicide rates begin to drop off, but older men — particularly those in regional and remote locations — continue to struggle.
Blokes of Keith’s vintage are also of a different ilk. They definitely don’t speak up, preferring the “she’ll be right” approach.
He won’t speak to mates or loved ones. When they catch up for a beer down at the pub, he’ll show no signs of struggling.
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • JD 12/06/2019, 11:54 am

    We don’t “..all know someone who committed suicide”.
    I don’t for starters.

  • Bazza 12/06/2019, 2:11 pm

    With regard to the youth suicides consider what they are being subjected to at School or Uni. Many of them don’t know whether they are Arthur of Martha. What they are now taught goes against nature and these kids are not equipped mentally to deal with it.

  • Neville 12/06/2019, 8:45 pm

    Be interesting to see how many of these unfortunate suicides are in the category of those of the LBGTIQABCXYZ persuasion. I understand that the rate among these is WAY higher than the overall average.

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