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But the fact of the issue is, we’ve got to watch what is going on in that family unit, since there space up come 21 fathers killing themselves every main in this country and people should be aware of that.

– One country Queensland leader Steve Dickson, speaking to media, November 11, 2017.

Discussing One Nation’s domestic violence plan at a project event on the Sunshine Coast, One country Queensland leader Steve Dickson claimed “up to 21 fathers” were acquisition their stays in Australia every week.

The very same number was cited in a media explain quoting Tracey Bell-Henselin, the party’s candidate because that the Sunshine coastline seat that Glass House.

Bell-Henselin stated there had been “an rise in male suicide, with estimates as high as 21 suicides every week since of the family malfunction nationally”.

Are Dickson and Bell-Henselin correct?

Checking the source

Asked for sources to assistance Steve Dickson’s and Tracey Bell-Henselin’s claims, a One country spokesperson sent The Conversation a statement which quoted Dickson together saying:

I am gift told through ambulance police officers that they space attending more and much more cases whereby a man has taken his very own life ~ being with the household court system.


There are no data easily accessible to assistance Steve Dickson’s assertion the there space “up come 21 fathers death themselves every main in this country”. Nationwide statistics execute not provide detail to show whether guys who have died by self-destruction were fathers.

Tracey Bell-Henselin’s statement that there has actually been “an rise in masculine suicide, with estimates as high as 21 suicides per week since of the family malfunction nationally” is just partly supported by the facts.

There has been an in its entirety increase in the number and also rate of male deaths by suicide between 2007 and also 2016. The rate of male deaths by suicide raised from 16.4 in 2007 to 17.9 in 2016.

In 2016, there were the indistinguishable of 41 male deaths by self-destruction per mainly in Australia.

If “family breakdown” is understood to mean the finish of a romantic relationship, climate this is a well-established risk variable for fatality by suicide amongst males.

However, over there aren’t data to present exactly how plenty of Australian male deaths by suicide may be connected with family members breakdown, and also we need to avoid make claims about causation.

Are ‘up to 21 fathers’ dice by suicide every week?

The Australian office of Statistics is the crucial source of nationwide suicide data.

We have the right to look in ~ the number and rate that male death by self-destruction for all men.

In 2016 the total number of male deaths by suicide was 2,151. If we division that number end the 52 weeks of a year, it works out to around 41 every week – almost dual the number Dickson and also Bell-Henselin cited.

That number is for every men, not just fathers. The national statistics can tell us how many people of a details age and sex died by suicide, yet don’t provide detail around life circumstances. They don’t tell united state whether the human who died was a father, or had been in a household unit.

Has over there been boost in masculine suicide?

Looking at this data, we deserve to see there has been rise in the variety of male deaths by suicide over the previous decade, native 1,699 deaths in 2007 come 2,151 in 2016.

There has likewise been rise in the rate of masculine deaths by suicide, or deaths every 100,000 people, which accounts for alters in populace size. The rate of masculine deaths by suicide raised from 16.4 in 2007 to 17.9 in 2016.

If we look in ~ the most recent years, both the number and rate of masculine deaths by suicide in 2016 to be slightly lower than in 2015 and 2014.

It is important to suggest out that the number are likely to readjust once the Australian bureau of Statistics performs its standard data revisions. Usually, the number of recorded deaths rises once the Australian bureau of Statistics includes situations where coroner’s proceedings had actually not to be finalised in ~ the time as soon as those data were very first collated.

So, in ~ this stage, we’re no able come say exactly what has actually happened v male deaths by suicide over the last pair of years.

Can this be attributed to ‘family breakdown’?

Bell-Henselin said “as numerous as 21” male deaths by suicide were “because of the family failure nationally”.

We can not say with any kind of certainty how many deaths were associated with “family breakdown”, or with any kind of other occasions that may have actually preceded a death. Again, the nationwide statistics carry out not carry out this level that detail.

The term “family breakdown” will certainly mean different things to various people. Bell-Henselin to be speaking in the context of couples through children.

The term “family breakdown” could likewise be supplied to describe circumstances like intimate partnership dissolution, and separation and divorce.

If we include all these definitions, then Australian and international evidence does show associations between these life events and also suicide risk.

A greater prevalence of suicide in separated and also divorced individuals has actually long to be noted. Separation and recent divorce appear to it is in important. This acute life stressors elevate the threat of suicide.

Relative come females, males may be at a higher risk of suicide following relationship breakdown. And Australian research suggests that men’s suicide risk is additional elevated if separation is coupled through shame relating come the event, lower education levels, and also stressful legal negotiations.

So, it is same to say the there is a connection between family breakdown – meaning relationship dissolution, separation or divorce – and deaths by suicide amongst males.

However, we cannot infer that self-destruction is caused by (or occurs “because of”) family breakdown. Suicide is a complicated phenomenon, involving interactions in between many various biological, psychological, and social factors. Therefore, us can’t to speak how many male deaths by suicide room “because the the family breakdown”. – Samara McPhedran

Blind review

This is a sound FactCheck. The numbers cited for male deaths through suicide space correct and also the information regarding the risk factors for suicide has actually been take away from trustworthy sources.

Suicide is a facility phenomenon that has actually multiple causes and should never be attributed to one variable alone. – Jo Robinson

Update, 12.36pm, November 15, 2017: complying with publication that this FactCheck, a One nation spokesperson noted The Conversation with extr comment from Steve Dickson. You can read Dickson’s comment here.

Anyone seek support and also information about suicide can contact Lifeline ~ above 131 114, beyondblue 1300 22 46 36, or MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

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The Conversation is fact-checking the Queensland election. If you view a "fact’ you’d favor checked, permit us understand by sending a note via email, Twitter or Facebook. The Conversation many thanks James cook University because that its support.