General News — 08 October 2012
More seek help for mental health

More Australians are seeking help for mental and suicide-prevention issues than ever before, according to national mental illness charity, SANE Australia.

SANE says that more than 10,000 Australians contacted SANE Australia’s Helpline in the last 12 months, up 27% from the previous year.

“The increase in SANE Helpline activity may in part be due to a greater willingness to talk about mental illness, which is very encouraging,” SANE Australia chief executive, Jack Heath said.

Heath said that the number of women seeking help outnumbered men, three to one.

“Just under half the callers were enquiring about support in the community, while a further third were asking about treatment,” he said.

SANE says the helpline’s statistics show that Australians are concerned about their loved ones health, with almost half (42%) of all enquiries coming from people worried about the mental health of someone they know or care for.

It also revealed that one in five enquiries related to undiagnosed symptoms.

“Often there has been no diagnosis and people are seeking information, advice or encouragement to take the first and most important step of contacting a GP for help or assessment,” Heath said.

“Others need help to navigate the healthcare system, while some people require assistance to access housing or jobs, or require financial or legal advice.”

Heath said Mental Health Week, which runs from this Sunday October 7 to the following Saturday, is a great time for people to reflect on their own, or their loved ones’ mental health and to learn about the services offered by mental health organisations.

“We need to make it okay to check on family and friends, to ask questions, and to seek help when necessary,” Heath said.

SANE Media Release

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