Flat White

Money won’t fix mental health. Try honesty

20 May 2020

1:35 PM

20 May 2020

1:35 PM

When, oh blinking when, will those in power join the dots rather than thinking that throwing money at a problem will fix it?  

Last Friday Friday, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a $48.1 million COVID-19 mental health plan.

It included $29.5 million for outreach to those in the most vulnerable groups, plus $11.3 million for communication and further outreach programs.  

The previous day, former senator David Leyonhjelm wrote for the Financial Review, “We need to find out why men are not ok. The suicide rate is increasing as more middle-aged men take their lives, but there is little research into the major cause: family breakdown.”

How many times do we have to read the absolutely gut-wrenching male suicide statistics before the government will be bold enough to name the problem, with a view to actually tackling it?  

In 2018, of the 3046 Australians who took their own lives, a total of 2320 were male.

As Leyonhjelm rightly observed, “In the 10 years from 2009 to 2018 the number of men and boys dying by suicide rose 30 per cent. The overall rate rose from 10.8 to 12.2 and now, on average, eight Australians are taking their lives each day; six men and two women.” 

Of the $48.1 million that Greg Hunt and the Morrison government announced they would be pouring into mental health, where was the specific allocation to address male suicide? 

Why is the government saying that the most vulnerable groups are veterans, Indigenous or youth – when it is, in fact, men? 

The truth is almost 42 per cent of suicides that have factors identified, are separation-related.

Separated men are the most vulnerable group – say it.

Hurling money at this mythical issue of “mental health” is not going to fix it.

Honesty about the contributing societal factors will.  

Rather than announcing an increasingly giddy amount of spend on “vulnerable groups”; try being honest about the problem that sits before us – male suicide.

Try taking an interest in the family law inquiry, which at this point runs the very severe risk of not producing a truthful outcome. Of the 654 submissions registered on the Family law inquiry website, 78 per cent have been marked confidential. Why?  

If this Family Law inquiry is to genuinely find answers rather than virtue signal the issues away for another few years, why is the truth being withheld?

Anyone who is not scared of the truth is not afraid to connect the dots between the damaging anti-men feminist Duluth model, corruption of the Family Law courts, broken child support system, fathers alienated from their children, broken-hearted humans drowning in debt, struggling with stress and the utter powerlessness caused by strategic false allegations.

Come on.

The problem is male suicide and the cause is the raft of contributing societal factors.

As a man said to me yesterday, “Try believing us… It’s not like we’ve been keeping our problems a secret for 50 years.”

Can we actively listen and start getting the men we love the help they need, please? 

Scott Morrison, Greg Hunt, Christine Morgan, over to you.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments