Lifestyle

Commissioner calls on nation to help stop suicide

One in five Australian adults experience a mental health difficulty in any given year.
One in five Australian adults experience a mental health difficulty in any given year. John Gass

THE entire nation needs to come on board to help Australians with mental health problems and prevent suicide, the nation's Mental Health Commissioner, Professor Allan Fels, recommended on Tuesday.

Prof Fels released the first-ever national mental health report card on Tuesday - a no-holds-barred look at how the nation is actually performing in addressing mental health problems.

While the report card revealed the country was doing well "in policy", it was not performing well in "delivery".

"Every Australian will experience a mental health difficulty themselves at some stage, or they will be impacted by the experiences of someone close to them," Prof Fel said.

"One in five Australian adults experience a mental health difficulty in any given year, and an estimated 7.29 million Australians aged 16 to 85 have a lived experienced of mental illness."

Prof Fels said the report uncovered some difficult truths which would be "very difficult to walk away from"; in an effort to ensure the politicians in charge of federal and state governments actually take action on the problems.

Among the issues the report identified were:

  • The early rates of death among people with a mental illness
  • Lack of access to appropriate health services
  • Use or misuse of alcohol
  • Significant correlation between mental and physical health problems

"The statistics related to physical illness and early death among people with a mental health difficulty are appalling. Their health is worse than the general community on just about every measure," Prof Fels said.

"People with a severe mental illness have their life expectancy reduced by 25 years on average due to the increased likelihood of heart related conditions, diabetes and obesity.

"There are many contributing factors and there are no simple answers, but this demands immediate action."

The report card was welcomed by several non-government organisations, including Uniting Care and the Disability Commissioner, Graeme Innes.

Mr Innes said he was pleased to take part in Prof Fels report, and the input from people with "lived experience of mental illness" was an essential ingredient in the report.

Mental Health Minister Mark Butler noted the report was a reminder of what the 3.2 million Australians who have a mental illness face.

But he said there was significant work to be done by the states and territories to stop people with mental illnesses being discharged into homelessness.

Prof Fels said the report card called for change in 10 specific areas, including a regular national survey of people with mental health problems; improved data collection and making up to 12% of the population able to access mental health services each year.

Other recommendations included listing mental illness as a "chronic disease" to improve funding; inclusion in the national "Closing the Gap" project; and various other national initiatives.

 

People with a mental illness

  • Live 10-32 years less than the general population
  • 12% will also have asthma, diabetes or, sinusitis or psoriasis
  • Were three time more likely to have diabetes
  • One third were more likely to have a 'cardiovascular event' in the next five years
  • More than two and half times more likely to smoke

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  depression, illness, mental health, suicide



'It's an insult': Backpacker anger at tax rip off

HAPPIER DAYS: The owner of 1770 Castaways says the backpacker tax will keep tourists away from Australia.

"We do the jobs Australians don't want to do"

Gladstone hairdresser drops 60kg for big day

Bridie Immoos and Michael Ritchie wed at Agnes Water on September 24.

Bride sheds 60kg ahead of big wedding day.

WATCH: Gladstone police search for woman in CCTV footage

SNAPPED: The vehicle and the woman was also spotted at the Dingo service station where police will allege the woman stole some items.

Quick conversation leaves man without car.

Local Partners

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

Channel 9 orders second season of Doctor Doctor

Rodger Corser stars in the TV series Doctor Doctor.

RURAL medical drama finds a loyal following.

Katy Perry gets naked to encourage people to vote

Katy Perry in Funny Or Die sketch

Katy Perry has stripped naked for a comedy video

Jogging Tom Hanks crashes wedding in Central Park

Tom Hanks stopped for a selfie with this bride and groom

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.