'Our Toughest Challenge Yet': Lifeline campaign tackles male suicide
A new campaign to breakdown traditional male values of stoicism and masculinity has been launched by Lifeline Australia, highlighting the lifesaving importance of open and non-judgemental conversations about suicide.
The national charity’s CEO Pete Shmigel said that the ‘Our Toughest Challenge Yet’ campaign (see here) focuses on the national suicide emergency and its impact on Australian men and their families.
“With suicides rising to 10-year-plus high levels – and six Australian men taking their own lives every day – the ‘Our Toughest Challenge Yet’ campaign showcases the strength of people who have come through the other side of immense personal challenges,” Mr Shmigel said.
“We know from our more than 850,000 interactions across our 24/7 crisis support services each year that reaching out when you’re struggling can be one of the toughest actions someone can take – it shows real courage.
“And while we have a wonderful culture of mateship in Australia, outdated ideas about stoicism and masculinity mean we often don’t reach out to our friends and loved ones during tough times. Indeed, only 40 per cent of callers to Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis line are male, while 75 per cent of people who die by suicide are male.
“So, if you're struggling with your relationship, finances, job or general health and wellbeing, I strongly encourage you to reach out to a mate, a loved one or support service like Lifeline. It might be tough, but it also might be the best thing you can do.
“If you would like to donate to Lifeline and help us answer more calls from people in their darkest moments, please call 1800 800 768 or Google ‘Lifeline Toughest Challenge’.”
Ex-Army Officer Dennis Maddock called Lifeline in 2004 while experiencing immense pressure at work and trouble in his relationship.
“I’ve been shot at, I’ve ran into fires where we don’t know what’s going to happen when we’re inside the fire. But, in terms of mental health? It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever faced,” Mr Maddock said.
The ‘Our Toughest Challenge Yet’ campaign features an ex-NRL player, an ex-Army Officer and an ex-Emergency Services Officer. It asks the question: ‘What’s tougher? Military service, professional football, the emergency services, or telling someone you’re not OK?’
For 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp