Saturday, April 09, 2011

Mental health

Many of you all would be painfully aware of the current inadequacies in the Mental Health system in Australia. I have written before about my beautiful friend that tragically took her own life in Dec 2009. Yes, there are many many dedicated workers but the funding is a joke, its about $1billion short of what it needs to be.

From Getup:  "The mental health overhaul we need will take more than budget allocations. But there are solutions which could help so many Australians if rolled out nationally. Here's just one example: there are 30 Government run Headspace centres across Australia. An extra $100 million a year would expand capacity in these centres and build an extra 60 across the nation. This alone would double the number of young Australians receiving treatment for mental ill health. The same amount would start rolling out early psychosis intervention centres (EPPICS) across the country."

Headspace is an amazing model designed by Professor Pat McGrory, who was Australian of the year last year. It is basically a one stop shop for young people to access health services with GP's and mental health  professionals all working from a youth friendly space.

On Monday Getup plans to put a message out that will be impossible to miss. Thousands of candles on the lawns of Parliament House spelling out "fund hope for mental health."

Attached to every candle will be a personal note: a dedication, a demand for action, a story of hope. You can add a candle for $2.20.

One will have my friends name on it. It makes me cry thinking about her name with all those others.

from Getup: Monday is our chance to bring this issue out of the dark -- and with our message writ large and glowing, ensure mental health is top of the agenda for crucial budget decisions this week.


  1. thanks for this Cath, mental health is such an important issue and so often over looked I think perhaps because people are uncomfortable or something.
    wil definitely add a candle xo

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I think it is bitter sweet, but still a beautiful gesture of hope.

  3. Thank you Cath. I've added a candle in memory of a very dear friend.

  4. Thank you for sharing about this important event. I've added my candle.

  5. Thanks for sharing the link Cath.
    So many people deal with mental illness. It saddens me that they don't all get the help they need. The stigma that goes with it is also an issue. I think our society needs to accept that mental health is just as important as phsyical health.
    Our candle will also be there. x

  6. I am extremely sensitive about anything related to Australia. I have relatives living there along with dear friends too. I donated a candle, not for someone in particular, but for all those people with mental health problems. Everybody deserves a chance. Thank you so much for shouting it out for us!

  7. Thanks for sharing this Cath, I've bought a candle too in memory of a lovely friend who took his own life a month ago. x

  8. Another reason why we get along so well (even though we've never met).
    I used to work at EPPIC!

  9. I just submitted a 3000 word assignment... a "mental health nursing assesment and intervention" case study, and then rewarded myself with a read of my fave blogs! Saw yours straight away and thought "how funny, a post about mental health and thats what is on my mind!" LOVE your message, and I also read your post about your friend. Thanks for sharing, such important messages there. xxx

  10. Thank you for the link. I added a candle and was glad for the opportunity. Lets hope we get some attention.

  11. Thanks Cath.
    At work right now, I'm trying to get better access to better mental health services for clients who've just had a stroke... and being saddened but not surprised at how hard this is. Thank you for helping to spread the message xo

  12. Already going to get my candle... Seems this is a tragic sulituatiin no matter where you live.
    My husband was recently dianosed with schizophrenia.'he can't afford health insurance &!it's been nearly impossible to find help. everyday right now is a battle & filled with "what's next?"... Sad!
    My prayers are with you, your friends & family.

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