A brief overview of Mental health in Australia what matter now

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A young buy who is overwhelmed by his worries- Illustration by Mel Tregonning

Post 1: Creating a data set using secondary resources

By  Ngoc Tram Nguyen

Article 1: The Mental Health of Australians 2 Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

By The Department of Health

It’s surprising that according to the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, nearly half of the Australian population have problems with mental disorder any time in their life. The majority of them are female, who account for 22.6% compared to 17.6% for male who experience mental disorder. The report also shows that mental health issue rate are lower among an older group of age. This means that younger generation now such as young graduate, the main workforce of the economy is now facing a variety of social issue that challenges their stable mental state. Some major factors that were listed in the report were relationship and unemployment. This report gave me solid evidences that mental health problem is now one of the most threatening social issue in Australia.

Article 2: Companies use smartphones to deliver mental-health help

By Rachel Silverman

Mental health issue has a big effect that decreases work productivity significantly. Silverman provided that mental illness was causing a loss of $US44 Billions per year due to decrease in productivity of employees. It can be seen that mental disorder among the workforce is concerned by both the government and business.

To take advantage of the digital age and to cut cost, developing treatment apps is a clever move for businesses. However, the question is, are they working? Will there be another side of digital devices that make people more isolated therefore worsen the problem.?

In conclusion, there will be a lost of test and experiments on this before we can see if digital devices can replace physical treatment for mental illness. But the truth that can not be denied is, mental health does have a bad influence to the workforce. Another concern was if mobile apps treatment can be applied for a short term, the worker may get bored of it just like playing mobile games. The efficiency of this method is still, a big question mark waiting for more evidences to give a solid answer. I agree with Silverman that. It’s positive and opens a lot of possibilities to make mental health treatment more accessible.

Article 3: Mental health: Poor and remote areas don’t have equal access to services, Monash University study finds

By Sophie Scott

Sophie Scott – an award-winning medical reporter from the ABC, who has published many influential articles in mental health. According to figures from Monash University researchers, people who live in remote area of Australia have struggled to access to mental health care service. Factors are the lack of transportation and unaffordable cost of treatment. These can be considered as significant results of a rising number of mental illness suffered in rural Australia as revealed in the first article.
The author suggested that more funding should be invested in improving the healthcare system. A good point that the author mention was, how the resources can be used in a smarter ways. It can be seen that if investment keeps going to the traditional healthcare services, there’s less likely to improve the access and fee for residents in the remote area of the country. And yes, I agree with Scott that government and the public should pay more attention to the issue, but maybe there will need to be more research and investment into how the fund can be used in a smarter and innovative way to achieve a significant result. The article did mention “ E-healthcare” which is highly innovative technique that I’m positive that can bring a significant improve to the healthcare service.

Article 4: Australians spend eight times more hours per week looking at screens than with loved ones: survey

By James Bullen and Anne Tarasov

How technology and social media are one of the big factors leading to mental unhealthy among young Australian.

The author points out the fact that young people seem to spend a lot of time in front of the screen rather than having real physical interaction with others. This might be the reason why they fall into depression and anxiety. Partly influenced by online content. They’re too young to understand.

However, I think we should consider a positive side of the digital age that, it can become a useful tool to help mental disorder treatments. If it is used in a right way, technology can be a powerful method to bring people together and create real interaction, which can improve mental condition among young people.

Article 5: Illustrator’s family finish graphic novel about mental illness after her suicide ( featured photo)

By Lucy Sweeney

This beautiful piece of illustration was created by Mel Tregonning a mental illness patient herself. Mel committed suicide in 2014 from her depression. The story she created was about a boy and his fear of the appearance of monsters, which follow him all the time.Unfolding the story of the boy and the monsters that always haunt him even when in his sleep, the reader can understand the inner world full of insecurity of people who experience mental problems.

“I just feel like that image is so powerful because if you’re looking at it from a mental illness perspective, a lot of people can recover from a mental illness but it’ll always be there, you’re not cured of mental illness, but you can learn to cope with it.”

People who suffer mental illness, especially young people Again this touching story of a teenage illustrator kills herself to leave an alarm for us to be more aware of mental health issue, especially among the younger generation. It’s time to reach out and pay more attention to this issue, help out before we lose more of our love ones.

After reading these new about Mental Health in Australia, there are three aspects that I think worth to go forward with:

  • Mental health at work and how it influent work performance
  • Rising suicide rate in Australia due to lack of access to treatment
  • Innovative solution to mental healthcare in the digital age

 


Sources:

Department of Health, 2009, The Mental Health of Australians 2 Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing

<http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-m-mhaust2>

Silverman, R. 2016, Companies use smartphones to deliver mental-health help, The Australian, viewed August 16 2016,

<http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/companies-use-smartphones-to-deliver-mentalhealth-help/news-story/379a126fd2424e05f0a53568545ae2a7>

Scott, S., 2016, Mental health: Poor and remote areas don’t have equal access to services, Monash University study finds, viewed August 16 2016,

<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-02/study-highlights-divide-in-access-to-mental-health-services/6269920>

Bullen, J., Tarasov, A., 2016, Australians spend eight times more hours per week looking at screens than with loved ones: survey, ABC, viewed August 16 2016

<http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-11/australians-spend-46-hours-per-week-with-screens-six-with-family/7718930>

Sweeney, L., 2016, Illustrator’s family finish graphic novel about mental illness after her suicide, ABC, viewed August 16 2016

<http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/drawing-on-depression-to-write-graphic-novel/7734992>