Mental Health Guide Launched
One in five people in Australia are likely to experience a mental health episode during their lifetime so it is vitally important that we have local health facilities that are well resourced to provide support and treatment, but also know who to turn to in times of need, Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams said today.
“With this in mind, I have produced an eight page booklet titled Live Life - a Guide to Mental Health to be distributed to every household in the Port Macquarie electorate during October which is Mental Health Month.
“Mental illness and its links to suicide should be a concern to all residents in the community.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal that more people die by suicide each year than on Australian roads,” Mrs Williams said.
“It is important to consider the number of suicide deaths in young people and then remind our community how important it is to recognise the signs in someone who may need help.
“The ABS records that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44, while the rate for men is nearly twice the rate for women.
“These statistics are a reminder of how prevalent mental illness is in our communities,” Mrs Williams said.
“It is important to know that most suicides are preventable and you can do something about it – help is available right now.
“Early next year we will see the start of the expansion of the Mental Health Unit at Port Macquarie Base Hospital which will double the existing capacity, enhancing the care provided to all patients.
“It is a serious health issue and thankfully more focus is being given to prevention and treatment through innovative programs and research,” Mrs Williams said.
“There are many complex issues related to mental illness and often a health professional or trained volunteer can help piece together the puzzle.
“If a person you know is going through a tough time and may be experiencing problems, it’s important to encourage them to seek help.
“Assisting that person to find appropriate help, especially if they lack the energy or motivation to do so, will be one of the kindest acts you can do for that person.
“The helplines and websites listed inside this booklet will be an excellent starting point for you or a friend,” Mrs Williams said.