Mental ill health is the leading killer of Australians under 45 and the leading cause of disability for all Australians.
But with the biggest health reforms in decades up for negotiation on Monday, mental ill health may be forgotten – unless we act now.
In just 48 hours, the Prime Minister and the leaders of every Australian state and territory will sit down in Canberra to negotiate a new plan for healthcare across the nation.
In their offices across Australia, our state Premiers and territory Chief Ministers are working all weekend in preparation for Monday’s meeting. They are deciding where to push hard, and where to compromise.
We’ve found the office fax number for WA Premier, Colin Barnett
We all want to see reform of our hospitals. But tackling mental health will require more than increasing the number of beds in our hospitals, or changing the source of health funding. More of the same won’t work.
There are solutions. Here’s just one example: there are 30 Government run Headspace centres across Australia. An extra $100million 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.
On Monday, the PM will need every Premier on board, so here in WA, Colin Barnett will have huge influence. These decisions are being made in his office right now – let’s fill it with faxes asking him not to come home without mental health care reform:
There must be no health reform without mental health reform. Together we can make sure this silent disease, which half of us will experience in our lifetime, is on the agenda at Monday’s crucial meeting of all levels of Australian Government.
Thanks for all that you do,
We’ve joined forces with Australian of the year, mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry to call for mental health reform.
Already, tens of thousands of GetUp members have petitioned the Prime Minister and raised $85,000 for the campaign to put our message on TV.
Now it is our state Premiers who hold the keys to reform – click here contact yours now.
The ABC Australia
An extremely powerful documentary.
Meanwhile – please help with resources, media and info
- Part 1 getting through this dark moment – the now
- Part 2 getting through the next few days with all their challenges – medium term
- Part 3 recovery and building resilience – long term
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West Australians now have an authentic voice on mental health issues, please share the brochure below with your contacts and join/support this vital work.
I will be hosting a mental health forum at the end of March at the Wembley Convention Centre focussed on providing info on free and useful treatment and management approaches for those affected by mental illness.
Parts of the forum will be videod to share with people who are house-bound or living outside the city.
If you have a friend or loved one affected by depression,anxiety, panic or bipolar, come along to find out how much there is that can be done to save lives and improve life quality.
Consumers of Mental Health WA (Inc) CoMHWA
‘mental illness is a pause…not the end’
C/- PO Box 682
BENTLEY WA 6982
(08) 9350 8824 (message)
Webpage Link from: www.rfwa.org.au
for Amy, Nora and all who’ll be in Chicago this weekend in the Overnight Walk for suicide prevention – see theovernight.org and support these people please.
click here for an interview with Amy Kiel on surviving clinical depression and living with chronic pain – Amy is amazing.
Please follow Amy on twitter @abeeliever and fellow walker Nora @noralmt as they walk to remember those who died and reduce the death toll from PREVENTABLE/TREATABLE mental illness.
A major way we can all help is to reduce the deadly stigma surrounding mental illness – you can do that by supporting brave people like Amy who take huge risks to speak up about their experence.
There is new hope for people in poor mental health as Australia’s suicide rate falls by almost half in ten years. see abc.net.au/lateline story below.
The good news is tempered by serious problems in dispensing opiates recently revealed in W.A. and the lingering, deadly stigma of being mentally unwell.
But isn’t it great and encouraging that the death toll is finally falling.
And please check this link for a preview of some amazing stories and useful first hand advice from those who are unwell and hear the voices of their children. http://mentalmedia.wordpress.com/
the very welcome abc item follows…
Reaching out for help as Australian suicides fall
By John Stewart for Lateline
Posted 3 hours 28 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 15 minutes ago
During the past decade the suicide rate among young Australians has almost halved.
It is an extraordinary public health achievement, but one which has received little publicity.
Experts say a massive public education campaign and improvement in the treatment of depression are the key reasons for the success.
But with bad economic times upon us, psychologists are warning the suicide rate may begin to rise.
Doug Millen, a 20-year-old university student based in Melbourne, is studying hard and his life is back on track.
But during his final years at high school he suffered from depression and did not know who to turn to.
“I did what young people do and I jumped on the internet and Google for some kind of help,” he said.
He found a website called Reach Out, which had been set up to prevent youth suicide and help young people suffering from depression.
“When I was feeling like I wouldn’t achieve in year 12 and trying to figure out my sexuality, Reach Out was great because it was there when I needed it,” he said.
“It’s completely anonymous and I didn’t have to talk to anyone.”
The online advantage
The Reach Out website now gets 130,000 visits per month from young people.
The website’s managers say being online is a big advantage.
“For a young person who suspects things are not OK, they might not know who to turn to or be afraid to talk to someone about it because they are afraid they will be judged,” project manager Anna McKenzie said.
“So to be able to simply go online, Google something and have a look without anyone needing to know, that’s really invaluable and that’s what a lot of young people are doing at Reachout.”
The Reach Out website was set up 10 years ago when Australia had one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the western world.
But that rate has seen a massive decline in the decade since 1997.
Professor Ian Hickie from Sydney University says suicide rates have fallen internationally, but Australia has benefited from one of the best public health campaigns in recent times.
“In general, a period of strong economic growth and a period of increased awareness around mental health problems and a need to focus on suicide reduction has contributed in most developed countries throughout that time,” he said.
“Additionally in Australia there have been extra efforts in the medical world to treat depression, identify problems and respond appropriately, but also, in Australia, a tremendous community response.”
The Howard government‘s tightening of gun laws after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre also contributed to the decline in suicides, especially among young men.
“After the new gun laws were introduced, the rate of gun suicide dropped twice as fast,” Sydney University’s associate professor Philip Alpers said.
“If you reduce the availability of firearms, especially to impulsive young men, then the number of people dying by gunshot reduces.”
But suicide rates in many Aboriginal communities are still high and despite the overall drop in the suicide rate, reports of depression and anxiety are on the rise.
More than 12 million prescriptions for anti-depressants are filled in Australia each year.
“We’ve just had a national survey of mental health in Australia, rates of illness are as high as they ever were,” Professor Hickie said.
“The good thing is that rates of suicide have gone down so we haven’t yet dealt with the underlying problem, but we have got better at dealing with one of the worst outcomes.
“The greater availability of anti-depressants is also believed to have played a role in lowering the suicide rate, but prescribing the drugs to young people is controversial.”
Experts are concerned that if more jobs are lost, the suicide rate may begin to rise.
It is a trend that has already started overseas and workers at Reachout fear that stressful times may be ahead, especially for young Australians trying to find their first job.
For more information, head to the Reach Out website.
Guided Imagery – Audio Library
Play An Introduction to Guided Imagery (MP3 4:33)
If you prefer, right click on the link to download the MP3 file.
An Introduction to Guided Imagery
The first part of the podcast explains guided imagery, its uses and tips on how best to make use of it. The second part of the podcast offers a short imagery focused on relaxation.
Recommended for: beginners to guided imagery; fear or anxiety.
Click below for a guided imagery I recorded.
It’s a 20 minute walk through your own garden and the chance to find your own inner voice
It’s enhanced with relaxing music and a binaural beat that increases positive brain function.
Here’s two people talking.
22 min 22 sec download,share,digg us,
we’re you yours ! =D
I’ll post details and links soon, including info on how anyone can record & produce quality interviews with anyone anywhere on things close to their heart.
If anyone has input on providing some visuals, slideshow,etc…we’ll youtube it.
We spoke live, Skype to phone, and the only editing I did was cutting a few seconds where we lost the link and adding a few little things for you.
To life…and the cool fools in the twitterverse =D @perthtones
© 2009 Amy Kiel & Tony Serve This audio is free to copy and share as long as it’s not for commercial advantage.