Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman today commended the Queensland Mental Health Commission’s 2015 Performance Indicators Report which provides the first comprehensive set of measures to benchmark improvements to Queenslanders’ mental health and wellbeing.
The report showed that while Queenslanders use illicit drugs and experience mental health problems at similar rates to other Australians, they have higher suicide rates, and they drink and smoke more.
Ms Harman said: “I commend the Queensland Government and Mental Health Commission for taking the time to investigate just what needs to be done to support Queenslanders affected by depression, anxiety and suicide – and measure and report progress.
“The Report revealed that many Queenslanders living with mental health issues face discrimination. With stigma and discrimination often preventing people getting help, this is a whole of community problem that everyone has a responsibility to solve. So I encourage everyone to stop discrimination, think about the effect the things you say and do can have on the mental health of others and respect people who are different from you,” Ms Harman said.
Over the past 12 months, the Government has announced coordinated and integrated plans to:
- improve people’s mental health with a focus on prevention and early intervention programs
- raise awareness of the personal and community risks associated with alcohol and substance abuse
- reduce suicide deaths by 50 per cent within the next 10 years.
Ms Harman said mental health issues, alcohol and drug use, and risk of dying by suicide are complex issues which are commonly intertwined.
“Plans like these need all government agencies and community organisations to work collaboratively and to listen to the expert advice of people who have been affected by depression, anxiety and suicide. As an example, broad community consultation and moves to change the tone of conversations about suicide from shame and embarrassment to hope and optimism are spot on."
“We believe action focusing on prevention and early intervention, local initiative (especially in regional areas) and better integration and coordination is the way to go.”
“If you are worried about yourself or someone else, seek help early. There is a range of supports and treatments for depression and anxiety that work. Talk to a doctor or contact Beyond Blue’s free and confidential 24/7 Support Service to discuss your concerns with our mental health counsellors – 1300 22 4636 or www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support
Beyond Blue thanks The Queensland Government for its ongoing support of Beyond Blue and its commitment to tackling depression, anxiety and preventing suicide in Australia. In the financial year 2014-2015, almost 15,000 Queenslanders contacted the Beyond Blue Support Service for short-term, solutions-focused counselling.