Men forgotten by support services

MEN have nowhere to go and no resources when their world falls apart, says Bill OHehir.

And they won’t seek help until their world falls apart.

“They are always screaming in the media about the number of suicides by males,” said the knockabout Coffs Coast psychologist, who has been working with rural men professionally for more than 30 years.

“But there are extremely limited outlets for males.

“It will probably get me screamed at for saying so, but the AVO laws are so biased against males they are basically evicted from their homes and their access to children is withdrawn.”

Mr OHehir is the author of Men’s Health – Uncovering the Mystery, a working manual for health workers published in 1995, the first publication to look at the health and psychological well-being of rural men in Australia.

The book was also among the first to look at the psychological impact of a prostate cancer diagnosis for a man.

Mr OHehir, who was a labourer and a soldier before going to university as a mature-age student, says he found virtually no reference books when he began his research and more than 15 years later they are still scarce, while men are dying for lack of help.

He provides his professional services free for the Bridging the Gap men’s resource centre, which is desperate for funding to keep its Coffs Harbour office open at 40 Little St.

The men’s resource centre can be contacted on 6650 9953.



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