You can help support men facing the toughest time of their lives
Australia is facing a national suicide emergency with a shocking 8 Aussies dying by suicide every day.
6 Aussie blokes take their own lives every day. That’s 3 out of 4 suicides.
With such high rates of men in so much emotional pain, we need to take a good hard look at what’s tough.
Too many men have been told to “toughen up” and “be a man.” They suffer in silence until the pain is too much to bear. Paul and his family know this all too well. But Lifeline helped them through their toughest times.
Paul’s Tough Challenge
“Without Lifeline, I don’t think I’d be here today. My wife wouldn’t have a husband. My kids wouldn’t have a father.”
A big, tough bloke working in emergency management with the Fire and Ambulance Services, Paul was always relied on to organise and get his teams onto the frontline.
Car accidents, fire, terrorist threats in public places … he made endless hard calls under pressure in rescue situations.
If Paul ever felt despair at the death and pain and suffering he saw in his job, nothing was said. He just toughened up.
He lived by the old-school philosophy “Don’t worry, you’ll be all right. You’ll get over it.”
But Paul didn’t get over it. Eleven years ago, he made his first telephone call to Lifeline.
At the time Paul first called Lifeline, he could not see an alternative way through his difficulties.
“I think before I called I was shaking. I felt like I was going to vomit. I just felt like I was about to explode. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore.
I mean I’ve got a family and all that, but at that stage I wasn’t thinking of the family. I was just focused on my little world.”
“I’m the prime example of what Lifeline is trying to turn around. I’ve always lived my life trying to look after my family. Don’t worry about my issues. I’ll just deal with them some other time.”
This is what can stop men who are feeling suicidal from coming forward and getting help.
Every day Lifeline is working to change the story about suicide. It’s a stigmatised topic for so many, often involving blame and shame, and it’s too often kept in the dark.
To help men like Paul, we need Australians to be open and honest about suicide – it’s one of the only ways we can save lives.
We need to be able to say openly “It’s OK not to be OK all the time”.
Just as it’s OK to call Lifeline when it all gets too much.
Lifeline’s 13 11 14 crisis line must become as well-known as 000.
And no calls for help can go unanswered.