The highest suicides rates in Australia are among men, but they are less likely to seek help. File Photo.
The highest suicides rates in Australia are among men, but they are less likely to seek help. File Photo.

Murgon workshop fights suicide with mateship

WHEN 23-year-old Marcus Roberts took his own life, his grief-stricken family knew something had to be done to change the statistic around men dying by suicide.

After approaching the Wesley Mission with a vision for a program that could have helped Marcus, the Marcus Mission was established.

After two years of successfully creating a dialogue surrounding suicide between men, the resilience building workshop will be launched in the South Burnett next week.

According to program coordinator Glen Wallwork, the Marcus Mission is designed to create a space where it is ok for men to have those difficult conversations.

“It’s about creating a culture where men can have the conversations that matter, but in a safe environment that’s absolutely non-judgemental and comfortable for guys to engage,” Mr Wallwork said.

“It’s so important that guys do have the settings where they can be genuine and authentic about what they are feeling.”

When the program was first being trialled, Mr Wallwork said man were more drawn to it when it was about helping their mates, rather than themselves.

“At first we were encouraging men to build skills and resilience directly for themselves, but as soon as we said ‘build the skills and resilience to help your mates’, more guys felt comfortable enough to attend the program,” Mr Wallwork said.

“A lot of men are involved in helping their mates when they go through a challenging time, and (the program) is about building the confidence and skills to reach out and support their mate, their neighbour, brother, son, or father. But also experience personal growth.”

“By inviting the guys to build the skills to help their mates, by default, men can’t help but benefit themselves as well.”

According to the Black Dog Institute, men are at the greatest risk of suicide, but the least likely to seek help. Men still account for over three quarters of deaths from suicide, which is tied to the lingering notion that men cannot show weakness, even when it could save their lives.

“For some of these guys, it’s about reframing what it is to be a man and to be strong, and to be vulnerable all at the same time.”

“And it’s not about reopening old wounds, but realising and harnessing strengthens.”

The first workshop will take place at 5.30pm next Tuesday (July 28) at Murgon Training Centre.

You can register at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/marcus-mission-men-supporting-men-murgon-tickets-111250852294

Or by contacting Glen Wallwork on 0419 750 607.

South Burnett

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