A man visited a doctor saying he was deeply depressed. Confiding in the doctor, the man said he felt all alone in a threatening world and that life was just too hard. What’s more, he said he was very uncertain about what lay ahead for himself and his family.
The doctor responded with a suggestion: “The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Take your family to see his show, it will cheer you up no end.”
The man burst into tears. “Doctor, I am Pagliacci.”
Mental illness costs the Australian economy $180bn a year. More than 3,000 Australians take their lives each year. More young men take their own lives than are killed in road accidents. Boys raised in father-absent environments are five times more likely to commit suicide, ten times more likely to abuse drugs, fourteen times more likely to commit rape, and twenty times more likely to end up in a correctional facility. Fatherless households are a dreadful problem.
As are divorce, domestic violence, loneliness and addiction to alcohol, gambling, drugs and pornography.
Suicide rates have increased. Rates of depression have sky-rocketed. Drug overdoses, the ICE scourge, something is very wrong.
There is a strong link between the health of the family and crime. It begins in the home.
Pagliacci is a fictional story based on an Italian opera. But its message of people suffering in silence is potent.
But there is hope. The family.
Family has what is called ‘agency’. It can do things.
Family provides meaning, belonging and security. Strong family relationships reduce depression and anxiety disorders, strengthen the immune system and speed recovery from surgery.
We all know there is no model or perfect family. Every family is flawed because it is made up of flawed human beings. But the family is the place to cultivate the right way to view life and the world around us. These are indeed difficult times but we’ve known hardships before. They are the ‘snakes and ladders’ of life and these too will pass.
Social ills caused by the rupturing of family relationships – divorce, de-facto relationships, fatherless households, single mothers bringing up children, high housing costs – lead to a breakdown in society. Family breakdown is costly.
The Australian Family Party believes the family should be the State’s top priority. The Australian Family Party believes it is time to strengthen the family. It is time to protect the family, to fight for the family, your family is the one thing you’d take a bullet for.
If you are interested in becoming an Australian Family Party candidate at the next State election – or would like to support a candidate in the election – please let me know here.