About the National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide Network (NMLESN)

The National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide Network builds on work from the Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience of Suicide Summit of 2021. The Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) was invited to co-chair a session with Roses in the Ocean specifically focusing on male suicide.  At that LE Summit, the Network was established as one small way in which we can do our bit to address the concerning fact that 75% of suicides in Australia are by males.

The National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide Network (NMLESN) is primarily an online forum, meeting bi-monthly. We may occasionally meet at conferences or other events where there is likely to be representation. The Network will provide connection, learning, and opportunities to contribute to suicide prevention policy and program development.

What is a lived experience of suicide?

Australian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF) is federally funded as a peak advisory body, and works to create a healthier future for everyone by taking action to improve the lives and health of men and boys in Australia.

The role of the National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide Network (NMLESN)

  • We aim to create a safe and supportive opportunity for the men in the network to meet.
  • To create a sense of community, a safe space to talk about positives in life as well as the difficulties and challenges.
  • To network, listen to and support men with lived experience of suicide to create more effective strategies to prevent suicide among men.
  • To provide the suicide prevention sector, governments, research and the community with a national network of well trained and supported men with lived experience of suicide who can contribute to programs and policy.
  • To be a voice for men at risk of suicide, or who have attempted where appropriate.
  • That MWLES (men with lived experience of suicide) are supported to share their lived experience in a variety of roles such as:
    • Contributing to policy submissions in areas that may impact on male suicide
    • As speakers at conferences or other forums and meetings
    • As leaders of programs that seek to address male suicidality
    • Supporting other men coming to terms with their own lived experience
  • To support the development of new male Lived Experience champions/speakers.
  • To be a safe space that some men can contribute without the requirement to be out front playing public roles.
  • To ensure that suicide is seen through a broader lens than just mental illness.
  • Help to grow practical supports in local communities that can meaningfully connect with local men on a peer-to-peer level, rather than ‘professional to client’ relationship.

When do we meet?

At 4.30 – 6.00 pm (Sydney/Melbourne time) on the last Wednesday of every second month via ZOOM.

Upcoming dates are:

  • Wednesday, 28 September
  • Wednesday, 30 November

Who runs the meetings?

These meetings are co-chaired by a representative from both Roses in the Ocean and AMHF, currently:

  • Tynan Narywoncz for Roses in the Ocean
  • Jonathan Bedloe for Australian Men’s Health Forum

What happens at online meetings?

  • We typically start with an opportunity to connect with each other for 10-15 minutes.
  • A guest speaker joins us to share their perspectives and experiences on roles and opportunities for people with lived experience:
    • A guest speaker joins us to share their perspectives and experiences; from their own lived experience(s).
    • We openly discuss various roles and opportunities guest speakers and attendees have, relating to their lived experience.
  • Questions from and conversation with participants in the meeting.
  • Discussion of current issues and opportunities for Men’s Lived Experience advocacy
  • A brief closing to ensure everyone is in a good space at the end of the meeting.

When meeting online with more than 10 – 12 people, we will break into smaller groups for some portion of the meeting to ensure that people have the opportunity to share challenges and successes in their lives.

About guest speakers

Guest speakers are being invited to join the sessions to share their stories in response to the following points:

  • The ways in which people with lived experience contribute to suicide prevention, by engaging with organisations such as:
    • Board participation or contribution to strategy and decision making
    • Contribution to program development and evaluation
  • What do they do to manage their health and wellbeing?
  • Information, skills and knowledge that can increase the skills and capacity of members in their LE advocacy.

* The National Men’s Lived Experience of Suicide Network is open to men only aged 18+, who are Australian residents.

If you are younger than 18 years of age and would like to join the Network, please email Tynan at tynan@rosesintheocean.com.au or Jonathan at jb@jonathanbedloe.com to discuss your individual circumstances.

Watch ‘Establishing a Men’s Lived Experience Network’ LE Summit 2021 Workshop below