The Australian Greens are reminding people on World Mental Health day that everyone has mental health and that we need to pay as much attention to it as our physical health.
"Mental health needs to be everyone’s business, we all need to focus on mental health from a personal and community level. Unfortunately there is still far too much stigma associated with mental illness as if mental health is about other people, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Mental Health said.
"Unfortunately as a nation we still have a long way to go to address our mental health needs, to ensure that people are able to look after their mental health, to reduce stigma, to be able to access quality services when needed, to address our appalling rates of suicide and ensure people in rural and remote areas also have quality services.
“We can’t wait 18 months for a productivity commission report when we have people in remote and rural regions with the bare minimum of services, rising youth suicide and a crisis in our Emergency Departments.
“There are wide spread calls for suicide reduction targets. The 2010 senate inquiry into Suicide in Australia recommended suicide targets- it’s just another example among many of reports and stakeholder recommendations that go ignored until we have ugly statistics showing that we have a mental health crisis.
“Mental health and wellness has to be embedded in every part of our lives, at schools, in the workplace, and we shouldn’t just wait until people are at crisis points to act. We need to be funding preventative and early intervention programs too.
“This Government’s approach to social services, whether it’s aged care or mental health is to wait until they see crisis levels – and then call for a report, commission or audit. Whether or not we see actual change or reform remains to be seen."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180