Suicide expert targets men
It’s time to take depression and suicide out of the too hard basket, according to an international suicide prevention expert visiting Balclutha this month.
Suicidologist Barry Taylor, who has recently returned to New Zealand to live, is calling for a much more concerted focus in suicide prevention on the overrepresentation of men in the 25-plus age group.
In a statement, he says: ’’Suicide in young people captures communities’ concern but if we are serious about reducing the rates of suicide in this country, we must focus our efforts and resources towards the groups that are killing themselves the most and that is middle aged and older men.’’
A health sociologist and public health practitioner for 30 years, Taylor was awarded the New South Wales Mental Health Commissioner’s community champion award in 2016 in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the field of mental wellbeing and suicide prevention.
Taylor has expressed ’’great disappointment’’ at the lack of progress in this area, in the six years since he left New Zealand.
Now he is back, Taylor says the focus of his work is to promote greater community understanding of depression and suicide in men. He wants to advocate for strategies that target the men most at risk and are based on sound research and understanding of mens’ issues. He would also like to help institutions and services to be more responsive to the needs of depressed and suicidal men, while developing a national conversation and collaborative action to address these issues.
He is presenting workshops in every region to help service providers respond appropriately to men in distress.
‘‘These workshops, which I have presented all over the world, are informed not only by thirty years’ experience of working with suicidal men from all cultures, ages, socio economic backgrounds and sexuality, but also my own experience of living with depression,’’ he said.
Sad Blokes: Men, Depression and Suicide workshop will be held on November 23, at the Rosebank Lodge, 265 Clyde Street, Balclutha 9am to 4.30pm. Costs $160 + GST. To register contact TaylorMade Training & Consultng 021 644 955 Email: email@example.com