With 1 in 5 Australians experiencing symptoms of mental illness each year, it’s time that mental health stops being the elephant in the room. These Australians are our colleagues, friends and family. It’s time to start talking about mental health.
One in four people will develop an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, with about 14% of Australians experiencing an anxiety disorder in a year. This equates to more than the entire population of Western Australia.
Mental and substance-use disorders are the third highest burden of disease in Australians, accounting for 12% along with musculoskeletal disorders.
Men are more than twice as likely as women to have substance abuse disorders and in young people substance disorders and mental health disorders are often linked.
For an issue that impacts so many Australians it’s time that we all start talking about mental health. Mental Health: The Elephant in the Room campaign aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of mental illness and encourage all Australians to speak openly about the issue.
If you have concerns that someone you know may have a mental health issue, it’s important to talk to them about your concerns. Knowing what to say can be hard and you might worry that you will say something wrong. But showing that you are willing to talk with them and listen to them is very important.
You might say:
Encourage them to get some support by talking with their family or with a doctor or health professional. If you need more tips, beyondblue has great resources for supporting friends and family members.
Remember the important part is offering support but ultimately it is up to the person themselves to decide how they are going to get that support. Be patient with them. But if you are worried about their safety or that they are going to hurt themselves somehow, then you need to let someone know.
If you require urgent help for a mental health issue
Private hospitals are passionate about addressing mental illness and proud to make a vital contribution to the delivery of treatment for mental health disorders.
It is advisable to have private health insurance. Your private health insurance policy must cover basic in-patient psychiatric services. However it may not fully cover your stay within a private psychiatric hospital. Check your policy to see whether it says psychiatric services are fully covered or covered to a limited extent. The APHA guide to accessing Psychiatric Services can give you more information. Two months is the maximum waiting time to be fully covered for private psychiatric hospital treatment by private health insurance.