The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister
for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
14 May 2022
Tackling Suicide Among Australian Men
The Morrison Government is investing more than $17.5 million in new and expanded suicide prevention projects focussed specifically on addressing the high suicide rate among Australian men.
Men account for approximately 75 per cent of all suicide deaths in Australia each year. While 2020 saw the largest annual decrease in the number of suicides since 2016 of 4.7 per cent, tragically 2,384 men still lost their lives to suicide.
The new funding to tackle suicide among men forms part of the $114 million National Suicide Prevention Leadership and Support Programme (NSPLSP) grant opportunity, a key pillar of our Government’s historic National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan announced in the 2021-22 Budget.
The NSPLSP is supporting key suicide prevention activities across several significant themes, including national leadership, research and training, education and awareness, lived experience in suicide prevention, youth suicide prevention, Indigenous suicide prevention, men’s suicide prevention and veteran’s suicide prevention.
The Men’s suicide prevention component announced today provides more than $17.5 million from 2022-23 to 2024-25 to four trusted organisations to deliver national services that tackle the social determinants and origins of suicidal distress in men.
The successful organisations are:
- Mates in Construction, who will receive $8 million to deliver the MATES Program, which provides education in male-dominated workforces on the origins of suicidal distress, the value of peer support and avenues for seeking help.
- The innovative Men’s Table program, who will receive $1.9 million to expand their services. The Men’s Table takes a preventive approach, addressing social determinants of suicide including social isolation and loneliness by fostering meaningful connection in a confidential and non-judgemental environment.
- Parents Beyond Breakup, who will receive $1.92 million to deliver evidence-based male suicide prevention support services to men at a heightened risk of suicide.
- OzHelp Foundation, who will receive $5.7 million to use lived experience to inform early intervention and wellbeing support programs.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said that while the latest statistics showed a reduction in the number of suicides, the Morrison Government is committed to a goal of zero suicides, recognising the value of every single life.
“The loss of any life is a national tragedy and has significant impacts on families, friends and communities,” Minister Hunt said.
“These projects work directly with at-risk men where they work and in situations where they may be particularly at risk. They will help protect and save lives.”
Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, said the funding would improve the mental health of men and reduce suicide and suicidal behaviours.
“The advice from the National Suicide Prevention Adviser outlined the importance of supporting groups disproportionately affected by suicide,” Assistant Minister Coleman said.
“Men are generally more reluctant to seek help for their mental health. These projects are providing support in a way that is accessible and makes sense to men.”
Suicide prevention is a key pillar of the Morrison Government’s landmark $3 billion National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan.
The Plan recognises Australians deserve a system that acts early to help people before mental health conditions and suicidal distress worsen, and that whole-of-government and whole-of-community changes are needed to deliver preventative, compassionate, and effective care.
Since 2012–13, the Coalition Government’s investment through the Health portfolio in mental health and suicide prevention has more than doubled, growing from $3.3 billion to an estimated $6.8 billion in the 2022–23 Budget.
This is in stark contrast to Mr Albanese’s time in Cabinet, where Labor cut funding for mental health.
In the 2011-12 Budget, Labor announced a $580 million cut to Medicare subsidised mental health services, including a reduction in the number of Medicare sessions available under Better Access from 18 to 10 per year and a reduction in Medicare rebate for preparation of mental health treatment plans by GPs.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline
(13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone who is considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467 or www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au.
|Mates in Construction||Deliver the MATES Program to improve individual and community resilience through educating workforces on the origins of suicidal distress, the value of workplace peer support, and avenues for seeking help.||$8,000,000|
|The Men’s Table||Expand The Men’s Tables program in metropolitan, regional and rural areas, a preventive strategy addressing social determinants of suicide including social isolation and loneliness, whilst helping men develop healthier versions of masculinity.||$1,905,000|
|Parent’s Beyond Breakup||Deliver evidence-based male suicide prevention support services that reduce suicide and suicidal behaviour for populations and communities at heightened risk of suicide.||$1,923,197|
|OzHelp Foundation||Use lived experience knowledge to inform the provision of early intervention and wellbeing supports.||$5,739,905|