Opinion

Let’s have a serious talk about a deadly problem

By Country News

The Curmudgeon would like to have a slightly serious word with all you blokes out there.

It means all you sheilas hanging out each week for my magic prose and insights must briefly find something else to do with your time.

So move away from the computer and get the man in your life to sit down and join me. No questions, just hurry up.

Right guys, now that's all sorted out, we can begin.

Blokes make up an average six out of every eight suicides every single day in Australia. The number of men who die by suicide in Australia every year is nearly double the national road toll.

“Whoa,” I can hear you saying. "What’s this ambush all about old man?”

Well every now and then there is a story somewhere, advertising on the telly or some expert bobbing up with an opinion, all about this very subject.

If you’ve missed them, it doesn't really matter.

I have done the watching for you.

Then I checked out beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/men to get a better idea of what it's all about.

This site gives you the opportunity to get a few things off your chest without actually telling anyone at all.

Not your missus, your mates or even the doctor. If you can ever get in to see the doctor — or if your town has one, of course!

Mantherapy.org.au addresses some serious real-life issues many of us face.

Let's be honest, there aren't many of you out there who don't know someone who has killed themselves in the past few years.

If you are like the Curmudgeon, you probably know, or know of, more than one, just in your district.

Whatever the reason, this is a problem that is getting worse, not better, in rural Australia.

For example, to all the normal farming pressure, how would you like to be one of the poor buggers up north who are again trapped in a horrendous drought?

You can't beat the weather, you can't beat the bank and you can't look after your family.

None of it may be your fault, but we all know how much blame and guilt we all carry from time to time in this game.

And that's what's so good about this digital sort of therapy thing-ummy.

It's not a definitive diagnosis of who you are, but it's a bloody good litmus test. And it's private. Just you and your computer.

So many people get angry with those who take their lives.

But in so many cases, it has not been a selfish decision.

Sadly, the poor individual often believes it is the best decision.

A decision that might free their family, provide life insurance to help bail them out of trouble, or just save them from being stuck with one of life's great losers.

Invariably, those thoughts are all wrong, but by the time someone has sunk to the point where they see suicide as the best possible option for everyone, then a lot of people have also missed a lot of signals.

This is complex and the Curmudgeon would not have the temerity to suggest he has any even half-decent ideas to address this epidemic of disaster.

But guys, beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/men is a pretty good, and incredibly easy, place to start.

You'll never really know until you have a go.

If I did it, surely you can, too! Now let’s get the girls back before we start hugging each other.