Support for men­tal health re­form

Isis Town and Country - - News -

A SEVEN-point plan to re­form Aus­tralia’s men­tal health sys­tem was re­leased last week as the re­gion warmly em­braced Men­tal Health Day.

The plan, re­leased by Men­tal Health Aus­tralia, is call­ing on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to lead a “decade-long, sys­temic re­form pro­gram for men­tal health”.

It comes on the back of a num­ber of events held across the re­gion to raise aware­ness for men­tal health and the an­nounce­ment of a new headspace cen­tre for Bund­aberg.

Im­pact Com­mu­nity Ser­vices, which of­fers the Childers area men­tal health, dis­abil­ity and com­mu­nity vol­un­teer­ing ser­vices, ran a fo­rum in Bund­aberg with ABC Grand­stand per­son­al­ity and men­tal health ad­vo­cate Craig Hamil­ton last week.

About 120 peo­ple at­tended the suc­cess­ful fo­rum, which fea­tured a panel dis­cus­sion with psy­chol­o­gist Spencer Carr, Wide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vices’ Cherie McGregor and Wide Bay Medi­care’s Brad Elms.

“There was a re­ally good cross-sec­tion of peo­ple there,” Im­pact spokesper­son Cris­tel Simmonds said.

“They were from a range of ar­eas, pro­fes­sions and ages. It was very open. Peo­ple weren’t scared or ashamed to ask ques­tions about them­selves or those close to them.”

The Na­tional In­sti­tute for Men­tal Health Re­search at the Aus­tralian Na­tional Univer­sity is try­ing to learn more about how men­tal health af­fects youth’s in­volve­ment in so­ci­ety.

Pri­mary in­ves­ti­ga­tor and PhD stu­dent Re­becca Ran­dall is lead­ing the re­search and has de­vised a survey aimed at youths aged 18-25.

Search for the “Youth In­volve­ment Project” on Face­book and follow the links to par­tic­i­pate.

For any­one with con­cerns over their men­tal health, the first port of call is your GP. You can also phone Life­line on 131 114.

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