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Women are being barred from men’s health conference

Filed under: Men's Health — Julie @ 8:38 pm Wed 17th March 2010

A Men’s Health meeting has prevented women from taking part in a two-day conference on male suicide rates.

The National Council of Women supported the decision, saying it was about participants feeling they could open up.

The Human Rights Commission said there was nothing illegal or discriminatory in the way the conference was being promoted or held.

Barry Young, President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand told me that most enquiries they received for prostate came from women as wives and daughters. The lovely lady who organised the Men’s Health meeting in Waitakere told me (I wish I could remember her name because she does a huge amount of work for health) …. women were to be targeted for men’s health because women can make men go to the doctor.

Wairarapa suicide prevention coordinator Barry Taylor said women were excluded to encourage men to take responsibility for their own mental health. “Men’s mental health has been a hidden subject over many years. Part of the problem is that they don’t talk about their feelings and they don’t ask for help.”

Mr Taylor also said some women had asked to be part of the conference which is of no surprise because many women care about their partners, children and other male family members and male friends. But they were told “No”, they couldn’t attend.

Barry says, “So often men have delegated their emotional issues on to the women in their lives. It is vital that … we take responsibility for dealing with the issues.”

“Statistics show the urgency of the problem of depression, often fuelled by relationship breakups, alcohol and drug abuse, crime and antisocial behaviours. More than 500 people die by suicide every year but it is New Zealand men who are three times more likely to kill themselves than women across all ages and races.”Men were more reluctant to seek help or may dismiss the seriousness of their problem, he said.

I think it is excellent women have been asked to stay away. This is a men’s issue and only men can work out how men are to deal with this. I’m sure in time brochures will be available for women to read and there will be phone numbers for women to ask questions.


  1. I agree – John Kirwan’s (sp?)work is great too. Just as an aside … if anyone on this site reading this ever suddenly starts to get a feeling they have never had before and are afraid that this will be what life will be like for the rest of your life – it won’t – go to the doctor. It will pass. Probably will start with sleeplessness and confusion – the ability to concentrate on anything. It will pass. It’s called depression and is common post-breakup.

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  2. I agree with the ban, except for media etc with no speaking rights. Women have long totally excluded men. There are “Honary men” women who have matured and express sense in a way men accept. Julie is one like this. Unfortunately for this group some chose to drive away an attendee. Some will hear what happened!

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 9:12 pm

  3. Statistics show the urgency of the problem of depression, often fueled by relationship breakups

    One could just as accurately say; often fueled by marriage or often fueled by having children
    Statistics show the urgency of the problem of depression, more often fueled by Family Court discrimination against fathers after a relationship breakup.

    More than 500 people die by suicide every year but it is New Zealand men who are three almost four(3.8) times more likely to kill themselves than women across all ages and races.

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 9:17 pm

  4. Absolutely major life events can trigger it. Here’s the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale as copied from Wiki:

    To measure stress according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the number of “Life Change Units” that apply to events in the past year of an individual’s life are added and the final score will give a rough estimate of how stress affects health.

    Life event [followed by] Life change units
    Death of a spouse 100
    Divorce 73
    Marital separation 65
    Imprisonment 63
    Death of a close family member 63
    Personal injury or illness 53
    Marriage 50
    Dismissal from work 47
    Marital reconciliation 45
    Retirement 45
    Change in health of family member 44
    Pregnancy 40
    Sexual difficulties 39
    Gain a new family member 39
    Business readjustment 39
    Change in financial state 38
    Change in frequency of arguments 35
    Major mortgage 32
    Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
    Change in responsibilities at work 29
    Child leaving home 29
    Trouble with in-laws 29
    Outstanding personal achievement 28
    Spouse starts or stops work 26
    Begin or end school 26
    Change in living conditions 25
    Revision of personal habits 24
    Trouble with boss 23
    Change in working hours or conditions 20
    Change in residence 20
    Change in schools 20
    Change in recreation 19
    Change in church activities 19
    Change in social activities 18
    Minor mortgage or loan 17
    Change in sleeping habits 16
    Change in number of family reunions 15
    Change in eating habits 15
    Vacation 13
    Christmas 12
    Minor violation of law 11

    Score of 300+: At risk of illness.

    Score of 150-299+: Risk of illness is moderate (reduced by 30% from the above risk).

    Score 150-: Only have a slight risk of illness.

    Comment by Angela — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  5. …just a little update…

    Life event [followed by] Life change units
    Family Court Misandry 299

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 9:50 pm

  6. Thank-you Angela. That’s very helpful IMO. Could you please provide the link? (URL)

    Comment by julie — Wed 17th March 2010 @ 10:08 pm

  7. julie, It’s a classic scale. I would rather you Googled “Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale” and found the links available yourself as this would give you a better idea of its validity.

    Comment by Angela — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 6:14 am

  8. Cheeky! I asked because it is polite to give a link when you quote someone else’s work.

    Comment by julie — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 6:33 am

  9. Thank you Angela. While Wikipedia by it’s very nature is not absolute, it is none the less a good starting point.

    I wouldn’t mind the web address for this, though with almost 30 emails yet to go through I may find it.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 8:11 am

  10. Alastair says: Thank you Angela. While Wikipedia by it’s very nature is not absolute, it is none the less a good starting point.

    The following articles confirm your assertion that Wikipedia content is not absolute.
    The National Post – Regarding Climategate & Wikipedia: The Climategate Emails reveal something else, too: the enlistment of the most widely read source of information in the world – Wikipedia – in the wholesale rewriting of this history. William Connelly was removed as a Wikipedia administrator although Wikipedia normally takes no stance in disputes about Wikipedia content or administration. Wikipedia cites Mr Connelly’s cyberbullying for his dismissal rather than his wholesale rewriting of history (5,428 articles) by his cohorts and himself.

    Alastair says: I wouldn’t mind the web address for this, though with almost 30 emails yet to go through I may find it.

    The Wikipedia page where Angela copied her information from: Holmes and Rahe stress scale

    Comment by SicKofNZ — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 10:05 am

  11. Thank you for this.

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  12. Hi Angela
    As a scale it is quite useful, so long as it is not treated as an absolute.
    Before I heard of this scale, I made my own, at a time when dealing with a cobination of stressors (lost my home, lost my business, lost all my posessions, had to leave my family, had been clinically depressed for 3 yrs, just the usual stuff that blokes go through).
    Each day I would score the biggest stressors on an arbitrary scale of 1-10, and add them. If the total came to more than about 50, then I was unfit to achieve anything, so had to deal with one or two items to reduce the score. I even used to do “emotional weather forecasts” to help schedule things.
    The big surprise to me was when I realized that the marriage was OVER- that I no longer had to try to hold it all together- that I no longer had to put up with all the rubbish-
    My stressors fell away, and I was able to start to rebuild.
    So- for me:
    DIVORCE= not negative 73 + separation negative 65, but POSITIVE about 500
    So- the sale is good as a guide, but in no way are the values absolutes for everybody.

    Comment by John Brett — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  13. Hello John,

    Thank you for your pleasant greeting. Agreed regarding the scale. Sheilas have some usual stuff to go through themselves. I had a friend whose scale revolved around whether she could remember where she had parked her car at the subway station that morning – there were probably 75 to 100 red Honda Civics in the huge car park 🙂

    Comment by Angela — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  14. A frequent commenter on men’s rights going by the penname ‘Irlandes’ often recounts how excluding women (usually second wives or current girlfriends) from a divorced men’s group that he ran resulted in the suicide rate of the group dropping to zero. He speaks a great deal about the dynamics of group situations where women are present, and offers some interesting ideas about why suicide amongst men remains stubbornly high when women are part of the discussion. Of course, it would only be another opinion among many if he hadn’t actually excluded women and seen the difference.

    Unfortunately I can’t recall where he last made this argument, but I know he’s made it many times and it’ll show up in multiple places if someone’s keen enough with Google.

    Comment by rc — Thu 18th March 2010 @ 7:51 pm

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