Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

NFPs Question Mental Health Report


Thursday, 28th February 2013 at 10:37 am
Staff Reporter
A new National Mental Health Commission report that claims Australians lack basic knowledge about mental illness has been questioned by leading sector Not for Profits.


Thursday, 28th February 2013
at 10:37 am
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
NFPs Question Mental Health Report
Thursday, 28th February 2013 at 10:37 am

A new National Mental Health Commission report that claims Australians lack basic knowledge about mental illness has been questioned by leading sector Not for Profits.

The report, Can we talk… about mental health and suicide is based on anecdotal evidence and claims that Australians feel they lack the most basic knowledge of mental illness and struggle to make sense of it.

Beyondblue chief executive Kate Carnell said that while some of the comments made by participants in the study were very real, it was important to remember that the report is not research in its “truest sense”.

“The report was based on informal, pre-existing groups. It’s wrong to put it into the solid research space,” Carnell said.

The National Mental Health Commission report says it is based on informal group discussions carried out by research firm, Think: Insight and Advice, which set out to recreate the conversations Australians are having about mental health and suicide at home, at work and with their friends.

However, Carnell said that the anecdotal evidence used in the study was “not consistent” with its own beyondblue research.

She said that the finding that many Australians ‘don’t know a single sign to look out for’ when it comes to mental illness was “certainly not in-line with our research”.

“Our research shows that the majority of people know the major symptoms of depression,” Carnell said.

The National Mental Health Commission was set up by the Gillard Government as an independent agency to assist in its mental health reform agenda.

National Mental Health Commissioner Janet Meagher said that the study reinforces that while there are stories to tell, Australians are still struggling to make sense of mental illness and suicide.

“This study highlights that the stigma associated with accessing the mental health system is still one of the biggest barriers to treatment,” Meagher said.

“Australian culture is singled out for criticism for discouraging open and forthright communication and for a loss of community connectedness.”

But SANE Australia Chief Executive Jack Heath disagreed and said that the level of awareness in the Australian community on mental health issues is “way off the charts” compared to other countries.

“In the midst of incremental growth it’s hard to see how far you’ve come. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last ten years.”

Participants in the NMHC study said that they felt Australia is in the midst of an epidemic of mental illness and suicide, while highlighting that if a health issue isn’t in the media, it can feel as if it doesn’t exist.

Beyondblue’s Kate Carnell said that while Australians now have a better knowledge of depression they have less knowledge of anxiety.

“We need to continue to do what has been done for depression. We need to talk more and write more, particularly in the suicide space,” Carnell said.

Commissioner Jackie Crowe said that the research was commissioned to provide insight into how we perceive and deal with mental health issues.

“Hopefully it can contribute to a more informed discussion on mental health difficulties and suicide prevention, that helps make these issues a priority for all Australians.”

Jack Heath said that the research was “a good starting block” for further research.

“But we should be looking at tracking a larger sample group, annually,” he said. 



Guide to Giving

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Yes we’re lawyers, but we do a lot more....

Moores

HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

More Suppliers


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Susan Pascoe Appointed Head of Newly Formed Community Directors Council

Luke Michael

Friday, 22nd September 2017 at 5:21 pm

Recruitment Expert Says NFPs Need Thorough Process to Hire Honest Candidates

Luke Michael

Friday, 22nd September 2017 at 4:50 pm

Thinkers Look to Melbourne to Grow SA Purpose Economy

Wendy Williams

Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 4:44 pm

Mental Health Groups Call for Same-Sex Marriage to Prevent Suicide

Luke Michael

Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 4:24 pm

POPULAR

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

Future Uncertain for Disability Organisations Following Funding Cuts

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:29 am

Majority of NFPs Are Not Believed to be Well-Run, According to New Survey

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 12th September 2017 at 4:14 pm

More Australians Are Giving Time Not Money

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:07 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!