Schizophrenia Awareness Week
At the beginning of Schizophrenia Awareness Week (14-20 May), the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, has welcomed the opportunity the week provides to promote greater community understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness generally.
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PDF printable version of Schizophrenia Awareness Week (PDF 224 KB)
14 May 2012
Today marks the beginning of Schizophrenia Awareness Week (14-20 May).
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler welcomed the opportunity the week provides to promote greater community understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness generally.
“Schizophrenia affects approximately 220,000 people in Australia, and can be severely debilitating. However, with the right combination of clinical and community support programs, the impact of schizophrenia can be reduced and many people can recover to live stable and productive lives.
“The Gillard Government is committed to improving the lives of people living with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses – a commitment underscored by our $2.2 billion investment in the mental health system,” Mr Butler said.
As part of its record mental health package, the Government is rolling out more and better services for people living with severe mental illness.
The $550 million Partners in Recovery (PIR) initiative will adopt a revolutionary new approach to providing better coordinated and integrated support for about 24,000 Australians living with the most severe and chronic forms of mental illness.
“Support facilitators” employed by PIR organisations will help connect and coordinate existing services and programs – from mental health, to accommodation and housing support, to employment services.
The first wave of PIR organisations will begin working on the ground from 2013.
People living with schizophrenia and other forms of severe and complex mental illness are also benefiting from a $227.6 million boost to community mental health services.
For example, the Day to Day Living in the Community (D2DL) program provides a structured activity program for people with severe and persistent mental illness (including schizophrenia), helping participants to overcome significant obstacles to learning new skills and participate in social activities which aid recovery.
Approximately 11,000 people receive much needed support from this program every year.
Under the Personal Helpers and Mentors program, personal helpers and mentors provide practical support to people with severe mental illness and help them to set and achieve personal goals. This can include finding suitable housing, looking for work or improving relationships with family and friends.
Approximately 12,000 people receive care and support from personal helpers and mentors every year.
Meaningful activity and social connection are critical to people’s recovery from mental illness and both of these programs are already helping thousands of people to begin their recovery journey.
To ensure our mental health system continues to meet the needs of Australians living with mental illness, the Government is working closely with the states and territories, mental health consumers, carers, experts, and leading advocates in the mental health sector on the preparation of a Ten Year Roadmap for Mental Health Reform.
The draft Roadmap was released for public consultation earlier this year and generated a high degree of interest and feedback from the community. The Roadmap will be considered by the Council of Australian Governments later in 2012.
For information or support please contact:
The Mental Illness Fellowship of AustraliaThe Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia (MIFA) has member organisations in every state and territory working for people with mental illness and those who care about them
Contact the MIFA Help line 1800 985 944 or go to the website www.mifa.org.au to find local services and support
SANE AustraliaSANE Australia is a national charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness – through campaigning, education and research. For more information, contact the SANE helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or e-mail email@example.com
LifelineLifeline provides counselling and support, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and can be reached by calling 13 11 14. There is no charge for Lifeline’s service.
For more information, please contact the minister’s office on 02 6277 7280
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