World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day is an occasion to both acknowledge and work towards limiting the impact that mental health problems can have on individuals, families and the wider community.
View by date:Previous Ministers
The Hon Mark Butler MP10 October 2011
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
The Hon Jenny Macklin MP
Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services
and Indigenous Affairs
World Mental Health Day is an occasion to both acknowledge and work towards limiting the impact that mental health problems can have on individuals, families and the wider community, said the Commonwealth Government’s first Minister for Mental Health Mark Butler.
“When you consider that almost half of all Australians – 45.5 per cent – will experience a mental disorder at some point in their lifetime, it is obvious that this can affect every one of us quite directly,” Mr Butler said.
“People with mental health problems are among some of the most vulnerable in our community and it is our responsibility to ensure they receive the care they need, when they need it.”
The most recent National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that in the previous 12 months one in five, or almost 3.2 million, Australians aged 16-85 years experienced a mental illness.
“However, in the same year only one-third of people with a mental illness– 1.1 million Australians – used mental health services,” he said.
“For a variety of reasons, many individuals do not seek help, or do not recognise that their distress and symptoms are due to mental illness.
“We need to overcome the stigma that many attach to mental illness, and make people aware that help and effective treatments are available.”
The Gillard Labor Government is reforming the mental health system to ensure that people living with a mental illness get appropriate care and support.
This year’s Budget delivered the largest mental health package ever, totalling $2.2 billion.
The Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the reforms will provide more community mental health services for people with severe mental illness, and more respite services for carers and family members.
“We are providing increased access to community based mental health services for around 37,000 Australians with mental illness and their carers with a $269.3 million boost over the next five years,” Ms Macklin said.
“This includes providing $154 million to community organisations to employ 425 extra personal helpers and mentors to work one-on-one with an additional 3,400 people with mental illness including 1,200 Disability Support Pension recipients, to help them live more independent lives and reconnect with the wider community.”
Significant progress has been made in rolling out these new measures including:
Australians living with a mental illness can access Medicare funded consultations with psychiatrists via a video conference. They are able to ‘see’ their psychiatrist close to home without the time and expense of travelling long distances.
More Australians living with a mental illness can access care and treatment under the Access to Allied Psychological Services (ATAPS) program. An extra 185,000 people can access the care and treatment that they need at low to no cost over the next five years.
Calls to Lifeline are free for all mobile services in Australia. Around 115,000 mobile calls are made to Lifeline each year.
18,000 more Australians living with severe mental illness can access structured and social based day activity programs to help them overcome social isolation and increase their ability to participate in the community, under the Day to Day Living Program.
A significant increase in base funding to the current 30 youth friendly headspace services is boosting their capacity to provide services and support to young Australians.
funding for suicide prevention measures has been doubled.
The KidsMatter program which promotes good menthas health and improves resilience in children has been expanded to an addtional 1700 primary schools.
Australians are a step closer to accessing mental health help online with the appointment of a new e-mental health expert committee to advise on the rollout of the nation’s first mental health online portal and virtual clinic.The e-mental health clinic to provide web-based psychological services up to 85,000 people over 5 years.
Leading Australian child health experts, including Professor Frank Oberklaid are helping to develop the new Healthy Kids Check for three year olds. The check will cover a child’s social and emotional wellbeing.
“The Gillard Labor Government is confident that our investments in more, better targeted and coordinated services will make a real difference to the lives of Australians with mental illness.”
World Mental Health Day is an annual event coordinated internationally by the World Federation for Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization.
The Australian Government funds the Mental Health Council of Australia to undertake national coordination of World Mental Health Day activities throughout Australia.
For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on (02) 6277 7280
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