FOR Bicton MLA Lisa O’Malley the daunting statistics on male depression and suicide mean much more to her than numbers.
Last year, an average of eight Australians took their own lives every single day – the highest rate in more than 10 years – and men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Mrs O’Malley is well versed in the pain and devastating ripple effects of suicide after her brother took his own life three years ago.
Now, through a series of workshops run by Tomorrow Man, she is trying to make sure other families do not have to experience what hers has.
Tomorrow Man aims to disrupt the old school, stoic male stereotype, build emotional muscle and modernise the way men think about themselves and each other.
The workshops are being jointly funded by Mrs O’Malley’s office and the Kai Eardley Fund, which was founded by East Fremantle’s Claire Eardley following the loss of her son Kai who ended his life in July last year.
“Nothing will bring our loved ones back but those of us who are left behind can try to do what we can to turn the tide around on suicide,” Mrs O’Malley said.
“Workshops like the one Tomorrow Man delivers teach vital skills through honest conversations that lead to more solid mental health.”
On Tuesday evening Palmyra Junior Football Club’s year 10 team will participate in a Tomorrow Man workshop, with East Fremantle Junior Football Club, the East Fremantle Sharks, South Fremantle and Melville Senior High School followings later in the week.
Palmyra JFC president Ross McKinnon said the club was mindful of the challenges facing young men today.
“We are committed to supporting the whole player and acknowledge the role we play in helping our players transition from boys to young men,” he said.
“The Tomorrow Man workshop will be a great opportunity to support this.”
For more information about Tomorrow Man visit www.tomorrowman.com.au.