The truth about mental health in this country.

Did you know there are 3.2 million Australians who suffer from a mental illness every year?

Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 – 44.

“It has been described as a national emergency. While the Turnbull government has begun to implement some structural reforms affecting federal government funded services, so much more is actually required. This country is failing those with mental illnesses and those at risk of suicide. Due to inadequate investment, specialist mental health support services often face uncertainty and the ongoing threat of losing further funding.  There has to be a coordinated approach to any structural changes in the system to ensure that no individual who is reliant on these specialised care is adversely affected.

We must put people first and ensure that we do no harm.” @EndThisMadness

This issue actually affects more than the 3.2 million Australians touched by mental illness because it also impacts their families, friends and carers, and their workmates and bosses. It has an extraordinarily large ripple effect.

Before you vote consider this:

How are all our politicians and parties showing leadership in addressing the neglect and dysfunction affecting Australia’s mental health system?

Much more is going to be required from all governments and all political parties.

Where is the political leadership in this campaign on mental health?

Medicare rebate doesn’t fix mental illness

Depression and anxiety in 2016Lyndall Russell, Melbourne-based Psychotherapist specialising in trauma recovery comments;Can we stop and accept that putting someone with an acute mental illness on a limited session mental health plan, with irregular psychological treatment is actually tantamount to making life worse for these individuals.Can we stop questioning the validity of the impact mental health issues have on all of society in its various forms? Can we open our minds to the possibility that when it comes to mental illness, we’ve already closed them – because we really don’t want to look at what each of these statements might mean in our own lives.”

Clinton Power Sydney-based Relationship Counsellor says:”Many therapists I speak to don’t want to be part of the Better Access Scheme because they are not interested in working from a model of brief therapy, as well as manage all the paperwork and admin that goes with the Better Access Scheme.”

Clinicians realise that it takes so much more than 6 sessions to begin to help heal someone who has suffered from domestic violence, severe depression or emotional abuse. Brief therapy is not the solution.

It’s time to throw out the 6 session approach to mental health…

Resoundingly what the research points to is that trauma results in a chronic disruption of connectedness in relationships. To heal the wound of disconnection, clients with mental illness need the establishment of safety with a therapist. This takes a considerable investment of time and money, six sessions just does not cut it.

Let’s invest in mental health for better economic and social outcomes for all

Currently, we are looking at  investing only approximately 7% of the federal health budget to mental health.   Even though mental illness represents 13.6% of Australia’s total burden of disease. In this election campaign wouldn’t it be great to hear that political parties were aspiring to invest 13%.  

Inadequate investment, has meant specialist mental health support services often face uncertainty and the ongoing threat of losing further funding and this has a direct impact on the experiences and outcomes faced by consumers and carers.

It’s time for some powerful reflection and questions to be asked of our leaders.  We need strong advocates to bring about change for all that suffer from mental illness in this country. In this election, I haven’t seen this demonstrated. Yet I remain hopeful because I know from personal experience that so many clinicians are getting it right with extended treatments for mental health even if so many authorities are getting it wrong.