I am very
disturbed by the fact that Mr Gallop has chosen to exit in such a dramatic
manner as it gives the message that if middle aged successful men have
depression they have to “give up their lives.” I think this is going to make it
harder, not easier, for blokes and make them less likely to speak out as it may
mean redundancy – not everyone has parliamentary super to fall back on (or a
promising second career in academia).

I so wish he
had said “I am depressed,” “I am taking some leave,” “I’ll be back.” If he had a
heart attack he wouldn’t have resigned he would have had some leave, got his
medication and ongoing support in place and then come back to work (if that wasn’t the case a very large number of middle aged
men in Australia would be leaving work!).

Taken in light
of his colleague John Quigley’s brave and public battle with a life threatening
illness and staying, Mr Gallop’s resignation is all the more distressing.

Depression is
an illness like all others. It is treatable and manageable. I wonder if Mr
Gallop’s dramatic response to his diagnosis is in fact about the shame of
“getting it” which is just the message those of us working with men are trying
diffuse.

We can only
speculate what the outcome of WWII would have been if Churchill had taken the
same action as Mr Gallop.

I am
investigating the help-seeking behaviours of Australian men who are at risk of suicide and
self harm. My work is focusing on men aged 25-44 and is supervised by Prof Diego
De Leo who is an international expert of these issues and head of the
Institute.

Given my
research project I am particularly interested in the resignation of Geoff
Gallop, and media coverage about the issue.