The new Blokes’ Book – helping men help their mates

A new, revised edition of The Blokes’ Book—a publication packed with information and resources to support the wellbeing of Tasmanian men and boys—has been released at a time when the Tasmanian community needs it more than ever.

Produced by Men’s Resources Tasmania (MRT), the updated The Blokes’ Book features helpful information and current contacts to help men support each other—particularly in cases where they may be struggling with challenging life situations or thoughts of suicide.

Thanks to funding support from the North West Suicide Prevention Trial Site* (NW Trial Site), Rural Alive and Well, the Tasmanian Men’s Shed Association, Launceston City Council and the Tasmanian Government, the revised book will reach thousands of men across Tasmania.

As part of the funding from the NW Trial Site, MRT has been able to add critical information designed to help men to support their mates when they are worried about suicidal issues arising.

Over 50% (and possibly as much as 75%) of male suicide is associated with issues other than mental illness.

Major causes of suicide in men include relationship breakdown, unemployment or financial issues—often exacerbated by alcohol use.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to reprint and share information produced by the Stop Male Suicide project,” said Jonathan Bedloe, Executive Officer of Men’s Resources Tasmania. “This is an important addition to the booklet, that can help men find the words to safely and confidently have difficult conversations with their mates when they are worried about them.”

The suicide information is presented as an insert, and can be downloaded here.

NW Trial Site Coordinator, Roslyn Evenett, welcomed the reprint.

The Blokes’ Book is a key part of our strategy to provide information about support services to men, particularly our target demographic of men over 40,” she said. “Through The Blokes’ Book useful information about services is presented in a format that men can relate too. It’s very much a resource designed by men for men, and the sort of thing that is great to have on hand in the glove box of the car, sport’s clubhouse, or in the tea room at work.”

Bedloe said that 10,000 copies of The Blokes’ Book have been distributed since 2017.

“Making this revised version available now, given the current challenges our society is facing, is exactly what we need,” he said.

An online version of The Blokes’ Book can be accessed at www.mrtasmania.org/blokesbook and hardcopies are also available through contacting MRT on info@mrtasmania.org.

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, said the book provided support and guidance for Tasmanian men and boys who need it, especially at times of emotional distress.

“It contributes a male voice to community conversations and public sector policy, particularly around social, health and wellbeing issues relevant to men, and particularly at this time as we address the challenges of COVID-19,” he said.

Further support is available if you feel like you or a loved one are not coping, including:

    • the dedicated A Tasmanian Lifeline – 1800 98 44 34
    • Rural Alive and Well (1300 4357 6283)
    • Beyond Blue (1300 22 46 36)
    • Alcohol and Drug Information Service (24/7) – 1800 811 994
    • Family Drug Support – for those seeking help for a loved one (24/7) – 1300 368 186

For more immediate support for people experiencing significant mental health problems, the Mental Health Services Helpline is available 24/7 on 1800 332 388, and in an emergency call triple zero.