Sui­cide ex­pert tar­gets men

Clutha Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - MARY-JO TOHILL

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: barry@tay­lor­made­train­ing­con­

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