Stigma and ignorance
If you are wondering why Health Minister Tony Abbott was pressured into apologising for his insensitivity to a para suicide, consider this.
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"Around one in six Australian men suffer from depression at any given time. From puberty onwards, women are twice as likely to experience depression than men. The experience of male depression is complicated by the fact that men are more likely than women to shy away from medical treatment of any kind. Instead of discussing psychological problems, or seeking appropriate treatment, men may turn to alcohol or drugs when they are depressed or anxious. The statistics for teenage boys and young men are a concern. In the past 30 years, the suicide rate for males aged 15 to 24 years tripled." - beyondblueWhilst depression is not always present in suicide ideation or completed suicide, it is a contributing factor.
"There is strong evidence that mental health problems are major contributors to suicidal behaviours in people of all ages. Various studies, both in Australia and overseas have shown that more than 90% of people who committed suicide were suffering from some form of mental illness. This was the case across all age groups. Indeed, people with recognised mental illness are 10 times more likely to take their own lives than the general population. It is quite clear that having a mental disorder places a person, whatever their age, at considerably higher risk of suicide than the general population. One of the most common forms of mental illness associated with suicide is depression." -LifeforceJeff Kennett Chairman of beyondblue puts it best:
"beyondblue has been working very hard to destigmatise the illness, and one of the aspects of that is that we try and encourage people to understand that if they present the treatment and get the correct diagnosis, they can return to a very normal life. Mr Abbott's comments were inferring or saying that Mr Brogden could not return to a political life if he so elected to do so."
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