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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11547


Mr MATHESON (Macarthur) (13:50): It is with great pleasure that I attended Camden Community Connection's Mental Health Awareness Breakfast two weeks ago. Mental Health Week is a time for us all to raise awareness about issues surrounding mental health, promote good mental health and wellbeing and highlight the need to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Mental illness is far more common than most of us would believe. Approximately one in five Australian adults experience some form of mental illness each year.

Guest speaker at the event was Peter Langston who spoke about his personal experiences, in relation to mental health. Peter is also a volunteer speaker with the Black Dog Institute, which is a not-for-profit organisation and world leader in diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder. The Black Dog Institute has partnered with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to develop an evidence based guide for using e-mental health programs and tools and resources to treat mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

In Australia depression is one of the most common conditions in young people and increases during adolescence. Most people with mental illness recover well and are able to lead fulfilling lives in the community when they receive appropriate ongoing treatment and support. However, only about half of those affected actually receive treatment. We can all do our own bit to educate ourselves and one another about mental illness, the experiences of those who have suffered from it and the road to recovery, and the way in which each and every one of us can be supportive and helpful towards that recovery.

Please support the Black Dog Institute, which is a wonderful organisation helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness in the community.