Studies link High Incidence of Male Suicide with Administration of Family Breakdown

The Joint Parenting Association has today called for the Minister for Family and Community Services, the Hon. Larry Anthony to release Child Support Agency figures detailing the death and/or suicide rate amongst its clients.

Referring to a recent report in the Sydney Morning Herald (Bettina Arndt, “Nothing Left To Lose”, 4th August 2001), where the writer revealed that:

A Queensland study of 4000 suicides found more than 70 per cent were associated with a relationship break–up. The study, conducted by Professor Pierre Baume, who is now at Monash University, showed men were nine times more likely to take their lives following a break–up than women.

Secretary of the JPA, Dr Shane Kelly said, “It is a matter of the gravest public interest that information relating to potential institutionalised pathways to male suicide be made available for public scrutiny”.

“Recent estimates indicate that in excess of three male suicides per day are connected with the process of Family Breakdown Administration,” Dr Kelly said.

“A plausible link between Administration of Family Breakdown and the high incidence of male suicide in this country has now been established. The Government has a duty to report the true statistics with the aim of finding a way to remove or reduce the impact of Family Breakdown Administration.

“The Child Support Agency and the Australian Government are in a position to contribute to critical life saving research as many males in the process of Family Breakdown have their details recorded on file with the Child Support Agency. The deaths of these individuals would certainly be recorded in these files. A separate investigation could easily determine the cause of these deaths," Dr Kelly said.

The Joint Parenting Association calls on the Minister to ensure that accurate and timely data in this area is released to the public.

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