The Mental Health Association of Central Australia (MHACA) has developed new printed resources to encourage people to seek help early for mental health challenges or suicidal thoughts.
1 in 5 Australians are experiencing mental ill health each year and recent figures (2017-2018 Australian Bureau Statistics) show that 1 in 8 Australians are currently experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress. It is estimated up to two thirds of people with a mental health disorder do not seek help from professionals.
There are often a number of barriers preventing people with mental health difficulties in seeking help. These include shame or embarrassment, stigma in the community, problems recognising the symptoms, feelings of isolation and being overwhelmed, issues of trust or previous bad experiences, and a sense of needing to fix our own problems for ourselves.
Many people don’t seek help until a crisis point is reached which impacts the ability for the person to recover quickly and puts pressure on emergency services. In the long run seeking help early reduces the cost of illness, as untreated mental health issues can have a significant impact on families, carers, and in workplaces.
The “Need Support For Your Mental Health?” brochure encourages people to reach out for help if they are feeling down, and provides a number of options for people to consider. It also provides advice for people concerned about others with mental health challenges, and ways to encourage the person to seek help.
The “Feeling Sad Or Worried?” brochure encourages Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members to also reach out if they are experiencing mental health difficulties, provides a listing of 24 hour phone supports and local organisations that can provide support.