Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mental Health In Australia.

In 2008,  11% of Australia had a mental health condition (2.3 million people). (source) So chances, are everyone knows at least one person somehow effected by mental health issues. This being said the National Survey Of Mental health and Wellbeing  in 2007, found these results:
Of the 16 million Australians aged 16-85 years, almost half (45% or 7.3 million) had a lifetime mental disorder, ie a mental disorder at some point in their life. One in five (20% or 3.2 million) Australians had a 12-month mental disorder. There were also 4.1 million people who had experienced a lifetime mental disorder but did not have symptoms in the 12 months prior to the survey interview. (link)

Why am I telling you this? You ask. Well, I think the current system for mental health is failing Australians. I think It is time Australia stood up and demand that something change, enough is enough.
This article on the Mental Health Report Card highlights how its failing (link):
THE first national report card on mental health says vital services fail to reach over 900,000 people and others are left homeless after treatment.
However, a third of those who get help via a hospital are there against their will and many are subject to physical restraint such as a locked door, straps or belts or sedation, the National Mental Health Commission says.

 Mental illness is exposed in the report as a killer. A person with a mental illness will live 10-32 years less than someone from the general population.
This is because mental health medications can make patients obese, those with a mental illness are more likely to have lifestyle risk factors such as smoking and drinking, and many take their own lives.
There are more than 2000 deaths from suicide in Australia each year and over 65,000 suicide attempts.
One of the biggest failings identified with the current mental health system is the fact more than one in eight people discharged from a mental health service are left homeless.

My younger Brother was one of those 2000 people in 2007, he became a statistic.He was not yet 18.  My mum for many years has been one of the 65.000 and i have a few other relatives who are also in the 65,000. So I am no stranger to the pain of watching those you love go through this. 

But the picture of how the goverment is handling the system is worse the more I dig and read.

THIRTY-SIX people died unexpected, unnatural or violent deaths in Victorian mental health facilities between 2008 and 2010, Coroners Court files reveal.
Data released to The Saturday Age by the Coroner's Prevention Unit reveals 119 of the 502 coronial inquests held in Victoria between 2008 and 2010 involved people with diagnosed mental illnesses. (link)

Why are these people dying? it is 36 too many. Why are these people's families not able to have answers on why the system failed their loved ones??

Want more information on how to support a loved one ?
 Or just want to learn more check out these great sites:
beyond Blue
R U Ok?

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