Last week was Men’s Health Week. As a wife and mother to three sons who are all now in their 20’s I take a particular interest in men’s health. It was with sadness and empathy that I listened to the brave Robin Bailey, from Brisbane’s Triple M radio station, speaking so poignantly about male suicide and it’s aftermath.
You see Robin had a husband and three sons just like me, until the suicide of her husband four years ago. It left her and her family completely devastated.
Robin spoke with raw honesty about the people who are left behind and the effect on her three boys left without a father. She spoke through her tears and said, “ It’s absolutely awful, excruciating, and people need to start talking about the effects on those left behind.”
She continued by pleading with her listeners, “ What you will do to your family is diabolical. It takes a lot of time and effort to plan a suicide, use that effort to call 13 11 14 and speak to someone from Lifeline. In the wake of two more celebrity deaths – Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain people are talking about their great legacy but we must stop and think about their families and those who are left asking ‘Why? ‘ when there is no answer.”
Robin was told by a doctor that her sons are now ten times more likely than the rest of the population to commit suicide. She has vowed, “Not on my watch.”
One listener called in to tell Robin she had saved his life by speaking out. He has suffered mental health challenges and was contemplating suicide before he listened to Robin telling of the aftermath of a partner’s suicide and how hard it is to bring up a family alone. Speaking out can save lives.
Greg Martin agreed and said he’d heard a quote that said, “Suicide doesn’t solve your problems. It passes them on to others“
This is a difficult topic for society to talk about, but the men in our lives are important and so are the people they live with and love. Men are three times more likely to kill themselves than women- a dad or husband suiciding only leaves more heartache behind. The men in my life are precious. I know yours are too.
If you or someone you know needs help call 13 11 14. You can hear the conversation here.