Today, the Sydney paper carried a story of a well-known identity, Rene Rivkin, who suicided weeks after splitting from his wife of 32 years. It was front-page news in most of the major papers.

A local newspaper here carried a similar sad story of death. It was a well-known local radio announcer here. The newspaper here failed to say what had happened, only that the death was considered not suspicious. We, meaning our group understood otherwise, after a call from a close friend. He was found hanging from a beam. Shocking, isn’t it, when it’s thrown in your face like that? But unfortunately, it’s the reality.

Five males suicide in this country every day. That’s 35 every week, people. And it has been going on for many years now. It’s an epidemic… Is anyone listening? The majority of these five per day are dads in distress. Guys who just cannot cope with the loss of relationships, the loss of their loved ones, the loss of their children. Now before the media jump on me for my quotes, read what I say.

Five males, that’s 5 per day, suicide in this country. That’s the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. It’s 5 males, not 5 fathers. We just know that they are the biggest percentage. Come and spend a day on our phones if you are sceptical. Have a look at the guys who write in to our site if you are not sure. Go talk to the coroner if you still have doubts. Come and read our emails. Feel what it’s like to enter the world of fatherlessness.

It is our belief, and that of many others, that the figures are under-reported. Mainly due to things like stigma, insurance, ignorance and the fear of copycat. How many are deaths by misadventure, deaths by drowning, single-vehicle accidents and so on?

The RTA was lobbied and spent nearly a million dollars fencing the Mooney Mooney Bridge on the F3 between Sydney and Gosford because of the number of suicides there. Is that our answer? To fence every bridge in the country so we don’t jump off them? Would they have spent a million bucks if they thought no-one was jumping off?

You know, sometimes God comes along and gently taps you on the shoulder to wake you up and sometimes He has to use a length of four-by-two across the kneecaps. DIDs is that four-by-two. Wake up. This is not acceptable.

If we were losing 5 soldiers a day in Iraq, there would be hell to pay in this country. It would be front-page news. You know if 5 whales beached themselves anywhere in this country, that would also be front-page news and the shame of it would be, we would throw more money and utilities in saving those whales than we do the men of this country.

Write to your local MP and let them know you are not happy about the 5 a day, or at the very least send him/her a copy of this letter. We cannot just continue to keep our hands in our pockets while we could be undoing the noose around our brother’s neck.

[Photo by Inzmam Khan from Pexels]
Published On: May 8th, 20050 CommentsTags: , , , ,

About the Author: Tony Miller

Tony Miller was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the 2010 Queen's Birthday honors list 'For service to the community through the provision of support services for separated families'.

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