This blog is outside my series of Raising Resilient Kids. I thought I would sneak this one in as a red flag was raised for me.
This morning I was listening to Julia Gillard speak on the Triple M breakfast show in her capacity as Board Member of Beyond Blue. After hearing her report the disturbing suicide rates amongst our men, I felt compelled to write this blog today.
30,000 men are having thoughts of, or attempt suicide every year here in Australia!
Shocking doesn’t even cover it, does it?
Recorded figures have tripled, as previous figures were compiled from hospital Emergency departments. These new figures have been compiled from interviews with Ambo’s and Paramedics. The figures vary so greatly because the hospitals are treating men who may (for example) come in with a broken leg, so this is what the condition is recorded as. Before the men reach the hospitals though, the ambulance officers are being called to treat a man who has perhaps gone on a drinking binge and jumped off a bridge or wall as an attempt to end all the suffering. The ambo’s are getting the full picture.
Julia Gillard also talked about our culture with regards to men. How our men need to appear strong and able to handle everything, they tend not to reach out and clearly aren’t coping with the increased pressures in our world. Apparently the most affected age groups are men in their late 40’s and young men in their late teens.
Talking to one male friend of mine, apparently for a lot of men, the thought of reaching out doesn’t even occur to them. That is so disturbing.
I would recommend you listen to the podcast or check out the Beyond Blue Website for more info.
I know from speaking to parents of young boys, that the general attitude regarding the “strong man” culture is slowly changing, but honestly, not fast enough. Are we encouraging our boys to reach out and talk about their feelings? Are their male role models doing the same (leading by example)?
Are your schools offering programs which teach your children how to recognise their feelings. Are they teaching them effective coping strategies and positive psychology exercises?
As a mother of two beautiful grown sons, an Aunt to a gorgeous nephew and someone who works with children, I am so concerned and prompted to ramp up the call to all of you parents (of boys especially). Let’s do something NOW, while they are young, to teach them how to recognise their feelings and give them life long coping strategies so our boys don’t become part of these horrendous statistics.
Please call me and let’s discuss what I can do to teach your child about stress and anxiety and how to cope with them effectively moving through life.
My next blog will be about self mastery. Join me!
I love helping families feel happier! If you would like to chat about how I can help you, and you live in Melbourne, follow this link to my “Contact Me” page.
This piece is written with the intention of helping parents create happier and more resilient children and is subject to copyright. Please contact the author if you wish to publish elsewhere.