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.