A Cup of Chaos #69: Men, Soften the Fck Up

UPDATED! By far, the largest proportion of suicides in Australia is men aged 18-44. The figure is close to 80 per cent. For some men, it’s depression, stress or peer pressure, for others it is sexuality, career pressure, body image, addiction or breaking up with a partner. It can be any number – or combination – of things.

But if you are facing these challenges, the best thing you can do – is Soften the Fck Up. This new campaign by Ehon Chan aims to challenge the traditional Australian notion of manhood – when you’re not feeling right, it’s not time to harden up – it’s time to soften up. And you can start by reading the experiences and stories of others. You can share your own.

In 2009, Mark Pollard and I collected 30 stories about reinventing manhood – called the Perfect Gift for a Man (which you can still download for free). It is great to see this important awareness raising continue.

Sean Carmody has delivered some more detailed statistics from the ABS (2009):

Suicides (all ages): 2,130
Male suicides (all ages): 1,631
Female suicides (all ages): 499
Suicides (18-44 y.o.): 1,114
Male suicides (18-44 y.o.): 866
Female suicides (18-44 y.o.): 248
All deaths (all ages): 140,760
Male deaths (all ages): 72,320
Female deaths (all ages): 68,440
All deaths (18-44): 6,660
Male deaths (18-44): 4,533
Female deaths (18-44): 2,127

So, a few ratios we can arrive at are:

  • (male suicides all ages)/(all suicides all ages) = 77%
  • (male suicides 18-44)/(all suicides all ages) = 40%
  • (male suicides 18-44)/(all suicides 18-44) = 78%
  • (male suicides 18-44)/(male deaths 18-44) = 19%

Which ever way you cut these numbers – it is clear that we are seeing way too many suicides in this country. It is also clear that there is help available, there are options – and futures to grasp. Start by Softening the Fck Up.

3 thoughts on “A Cup of Chaos #69: Men, Soften the Fck Up

  1. Gavin, don’t want to downplay the importance of the campaign, but there’s one statistic there that’s a little misleading. When you say “the figure is close to 80%” it sounds like you are saying that 80% of deaths of men 18-44 are due to suicide. In fact, that figure is 19%, which is still shockingly high and suicide is certainly the #1 killer of men in that age group. There is another statistic that is close to 80%: of all suicide deaths in Australia, 77% are men. Among suicides in the 18-44 age range, 78% are men.
    Sorry: that’s the pedant in me. Doesn’t change the fact that it’s a cause worth supporting!

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