Study shows suicidal behaviour is worse than expected for Australian men


Beyond the Emergency, a study released by Monash University and compiled by Turning Point with research led by Professor Dan Lubman has revealed disturbing statistics that suicidal behavior among men is three times higher than anticipated.

The three-year research program which was backed by Beyond Blue and Movember drew upon statistics from Emergency Services paramedic clinical records and online surveys with those working in the first response field. 

The figures that were released show how dire the situation is in having the necessary resources available to implement more mental health and suicide prevention training to those who work in emergency services as the number of cases for males in particular, continue to increase:

  • An average of six men take their lives every day.
  • Ambulances around Australia make on average 82 attendances to men who have either attempted to take their own life or were in a crisis state.
  • Approximately 10,000 men present themselves to hospital emergency departments in a crisis state per year.
  • Between 2015 – 2016 there were 30,197 ambulance attendances for men who had thoughts or had attempted suicide.
  • Only 14% of paramedics reported comprehensive training for mental health presentations and 2/3 paramedics feeling under-prepared to talk to patients about their needs.
  • Two out of three attendances for an attempt or suicidal crisis were drug and/or alcohol related.

With these figures showing an increase in reported cases over the years, the report has noted a number of recommendations including:

  • Consistent and ongoing training for paramedics
  • Sustained use of coded ambulance records to identify and monitor community health needs.
  • A sweeping overhaul of the current service system

“We need better options for men who are in suicidal crisis,” said Professor Lubman from the study. “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.”

We congratulate all of those who were involved in the study particularly Beyond Blue, Movember, Monash University, Turning Point and all of our incredible emergency services workers who continue to go to work everyday to save lives.  Without this combined effort we would not have access to these statistics or recommendations that now enable us all to work together and make a difference.

#ItAintWeakToSpeak

If you are struggling and feel you need to speak to someone, visit our Get Help page.

If you are interested in our mental health educational program LIVINWell, visit our Programs page or for more comprehensive mental health skills training, check out the team at www.chekmate.com.au