More man-friendly services needed to stem suicide flow

SUICIDE continues to be one of the top 10 causes of death among men.

Suicide prevention campaigners are using a Canberra conference to call for more "male friendly" health services to encourage men to seek help.

Suicide is a leading cause of male death, according to the most recent ABS data, which found three-quarters of people who died by suicide were male. Of the 2535 suicides in Australia in 2012, 1901 were men and 634 were women.

Men are three times more likely than women to commit suicide, and three times less likely to seek help, the 2014 Men's Health and Suicide Prevention Conference in Canberra was told.

Keynote speaker Professor John MacDonald, director of Men's Health Information and Resource Centre at the University of Western Sydney, said figures showed five men and one woman a day took their own life.

He said there needed to be more of a focus on prevention and "what keeps people alive" and what society was doing to value people.

Professor MacDonald said there was still much work to be done to de-stigmatise mental health and illness among men.

If you or someone you know needs support, phone Lifeline on 131 114. MensLine also offers 24-hour confidential support to men on 1300 789 978.


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