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Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Page: 11605


Ms BRODTMANN (Canberra) (13:52): The theme of this year's Mental Health Week is 'no health without mental health', so today I would like to draw the attention of the House to some concerning statistics. One in five people experience a mental health illness each year in Australia and three out of 10 will suffer a serious episode of mental illness.

Australia also has alarming rates of suicide. More people die from suicide than motor vehicle accidents. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, and Indigenous people are four times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous people. With these statistics in mind, it is our responsibility to assist in reducing the stigma associated with a mental health illness and to encourage a positive approach to mental health. This includes supporting preventative measures.

This year many non-government organisations in the sector are promoting the concept of getting connected with community. The focus is on family, friends, neighbours and colleagues—at home, at work, at school and in our community. It embeds the outstanding work of Gavin Larkin of the R U OK Day organisation. I hope we can all contribute to building a positive mental health approach. We should be aware of mental health first aid for depression, suicidal tendencies, self-harm, panic, trauma, eating disorders, psychosis and substance abuse.

I especially record thanks to those who work tirelessly in this space, especially Lifeline, the Mental Health Foundation of the ACT, Carers ACT and the Mental Health Council of Australia. (Time expired)