Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Spare a thought for those experiencing mental health issues

Mission Australia NT State Leader Sue Kendrick calls on the community to consider friends and family faced by mental health issues this week.

 “Most people will know someone who has faced mental health issues. It can affect anyone and every aspect of their life including relationships, study and work.

“During challenging times it is important that people know that they are not alone and support is available to help get them back on track,” Ms Kendrick said.

A 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that an estimated 3.2 million Australians (20% of the population aged between 16 and 85) had a mental disorder in the twelve months prior to the survey.

For the past five years Mission Australia has run a Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) service aimed at helping people such as these maintain or regain their independence.

The program assists people with severe mental illness aged 16 years and over to manage their daily activities and to live independently in the community. Activities include behavioural work and skills training in things many of us would easily take for granted, such as domestic chores or getting dressed correctly in the morning.

 “Mental illness should not be a barrier to community and social participation,” Ms Kendrick said.

“We need to do a better job at helping more mentally ill people into the workforce.”

Research shows that up to 85 per cent of people experiencing serious mental health issues can return to work or study with the right help.

“Mission Australia understands that supporting people through their recovery requires a holistic approach. We ensure that services accessed by participants are coordinated, integrated and complementary to other services in the community. We help participants better manage their daily activities and develop personal recovery plans as they regain their independence.”

People requiring assistance in dealing with mental illness can contact Mission Australia on 08 8935 0900.

Mental Health Week runs from 7 to 13 October and aims to raise awareness and understanding of the needs, experiences and issues concerning people with a mental illness.

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