CQUniversity academic Louise Byrne draws on her harrowing past to educate the next generation of mental health nurses. Photo by Peter Lawrence
CQUniversity academic Louise Byrne draws on her harrowing past to educate the next generation of mental health nurses. Photo by Peter Lawrence Photo by Peter Lawrence

Talk about it before it’s too late, says expert

LOUISE Byrne is calling on men to speak up, before it's too late.

In Australia, approximately 2200 suicides occur each year due to depression with men making up 80% of the total.

With an average of five men taking their lives every day, suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 44 and CQUniversity recovery approach in mental health lecturer and lived experience practitioner Ms Byrne says it's time to take action.

"Typically and historically, men don't talk about their feelings at all," Ms Byrne said.

"It's one of the most appalling tragedies of our time.

"Males are known to have never talked about what they're going through and are choosing voluntary death (via suicide) instead of conversation.

Statistics show on average one in eight men will suffer depression at some stage of their life and are less likely to talk about it which increases the risk of their depression going unrecognised and untreated.

"In my opinion, the biggest issue is that we still don't talk about it and that's the biggest inhibiter in moving forward," Ms Byrne said.

"I don't think the stigma surrounding stress and distress is lifting. There is a perception it is but it's much unchanged.

"A few battles have been won, but the war is not over."



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