Cash-strapped dads in distress have until june

A SERVICE for Coffs Coast fathers who are separated from their children is in danger of closing its doors, prompting the director to ask who will be the last man standing.

Coffs Harbour Dads in Distress director, Tony Miller, said despite the government recently announcing a men's health policy, nothing has been done to strengthen existing services that have been advocating the rights of separated fathers for years.

“Dads in Distress will close its doors in June if nothing is forthcoming,” Mr Miller said.

“Maybe others can look the other way and believe that all will be okay and the problem will just go away, but our current funding ends in June. Who will be the last man standing?”

The funding cut off comes at a time when crisis support service Mensline Australia reports that men living without their children are five times more likely to have attempted suicide.

“Suicide in this country, especially male suicide, is at epidemic levels,” Mr Miller said.

“All agencies, including ours, need help to cope, and with the economic crisis families are only going to come under more pressure.” Mensline Australia spokesperson, Dr Nick Foster, said the service receives at least two suicide-related calls every day.

“Sadly we receive many more calls from men whose only glimmer of hope is the possibility of one day being able to spend more time with their kids,” Dr Foster said. A recent analysis of 60,000 callers to Mensline found fathers living alone are also twice as likely to have experienced a serious mental health concern.



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