I was actually contacted by Leith Erickson yet again today and abused for daring to suggest that the family court is not the cause of widespread male suicide.
If you didn’t know he is the founder of the Australian brotherhood of fathers…. Thank God my name changes on average every decade and he doesn’t remember who I am….. He was abusive back then too….. Oh yeah and he was shirty that I said that abf is a political organisation…. Because…. Um it’s a political organisation….. 😕
I tried to engage the man in rational discussion and outlined for him the issues I had with the conduct of himself as an advocate and his organisation. However rational discussion was not what he wanted to engage in he devolved into slurs and vilifying me for even having an opinion in the first place.
There is no reason to deny mental illness in family law cases. Often it would explain periods of deterioration in relationship and you can practically display to the court that the condition is managed. Magistrates are far more knowledgeable about mental illness and mental health than your average Joe blow on the street, they are more likely to enforce visitation to motivate you to maintain your mental health than remove access to your children if you are mentally ill. The same Magistrates who hear your family law case have sat through section hearings on psychiatric wards, while providing diversions, anger management, and community treatment orders to those who have landed in the justice system.
Shame and denial has absolutely no place in a hearing where you want to display to the Federal Magistrate that you care about your family and you are a stable responsible adult, who is handling their shit because being responsible for your mental health is how you handle your shit.
I personally know far too many men who have a long established history of acute mental illness; due to combat trauma, child sexual abuse, bipolar, schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and eating disorders all of which have higher risks for suicide. So I consider the man a charlatan who is ripping off people I love and care about. He does the cause of fathers rights more harm than good by pretty obviously hijacking statistics from a sector (Mental health) which desperately needs funding, resources, public awareness, and a significant shift in public perception.
He attributes ALL male suicide collectively to the family court.
He does harm by not making points of substance damaging his own credibility.
Physio and I were just discussing today that attitude is EVERYTHING….. It doesn’t matter sector, it doesn’t matter position, you can easily undermine and screw yourself over in 1000 different ways with nothing other than a bad attitude.
If you are driving a bus
If you are recovering from injury
If you are a leader
If you are an educator
Attitude is everything You 100% can entirely cripple your ability to learn with nothing other than a bad attitude…… If you think you can’t, you won’t.
Cripple your ability to teach/lead/support/care If you think they can’t, you won’t be the support they need to do….. If you think symptoms are put on or exaggerated you won’t take their condition seriously.
If you tell fathers the court is their enemy they will treat it as one rather than engage with it!
Funnily enough divorce, separation, whether or not they have children, whether or not they see their children aren’t mentioned in the report at ALL! Do you know why? Because such factors do not directly cause suicide….
Nor do they list combat experience, whether they were victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence, or from high stress professions who have high rates of suicide.
It’s just stress like essentially everything else in life….the source of that stress doesn’t change the fact that it is stress.
What are contributors however is drug and alcohol use and mental illness, particularly complex and acute mental illness, because they are major factors.
These things all compromise your ability to cope with stress to varying degrees.
If you are facing anything in your life that is high stress…. Doesn’t matter if it’s having a baby, buying a house, obtaining a formal education, getting married etc…. Seek the advice of professionals and even some counselling to make sure you are in the most constructive headspace as you enter the challenge…..
Seeking the advice of professionals doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong however it does mean things are less likely to go wrong. You have clear instructions as you travel down that path and you are living your life rather than letting life happen to you.
There is absolutely NO SHAME in maintaining your mental health.
It’s no different to a regular workout at the gym to maintain your fitness. Going to the gym won’t make you immune to illness, but it does equip your body to fight illness. Flex those resilience muscles and show the world that no challenge is insurmountable when we take care of ourselves.
I have personally been pushing for referrals to counselling services to be provided upon all engagement with the family court and mediation since 1998.
The truth is though the issue isn’t that it isn’t available. The issue is that
1.people don’t know they need it and can benefit from counselling throughout the family court process
2.people don’t know that it is available.
3.common perceptions of counselling is to sneer and declare that they don’t need it because they are STRONG! Contrary to popular belief strong people are strong because they aren’t scared to access counselling before they are in crisis.
Kerwin explains it best
Resources for Fathers
Update: he tried to publically Shame me on the abf page. His followers didn’t come to the party in the way he expected.