The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will run a week of programming to mark Mental Health Week and kick-start a national conversation about mental health.
anaging Director at ABC, Mark Scott said the distinctive programming, themed “Mental As”, for Mental Health Week from 5-12 October 2014 would take a look at mental health from all angles and perspective across television, radio, online and mobile platforms.
“ABC has an important role in not only reporting national issues but also in leading discussion, debate and community awareness on the issues and challenges affecting Australians,” Mr Scott said.
“Half of us will experience a mental health issue directly while many others, as carers, families, friends and colleagues will live with or witness its impact. It is an issue for us all.”
The week will culminate in a two-hour, live, TV fundraising event on Friday 10 October, The Friday Night Crack Up.
Mr Scott said Australia’s biggest personalities – comedians, actors, sportspeople, musicians and politicians – would show their support for Mental Health Week and encourage Australians to take action, start talking and to give to mental health research.
“We want to encourage audiences to talk about mental health, seek support and give generously,” he said.
The ABC is working with former Australian of the Year, Patrick McGorry in his role as President of the Society for Mental Health Research, the national peak body for psychiatric and mental health research in Australia and New Zealand.
“The goal is to help raise more than $1 million for mental health research in Australia,” Mr Scott said.
Professor McGorry said failure to invest in 21st century care had resulted in premature death, preventable disability and lost productivity.
“Too many people with mental ill health are consigned to the social and economic scrapheap. This can and must change,” he said.
“We need a national research effort to match cancer and cardiovascular disease.”
This article first appeared on ‘PS News‘ on 15 August 2014.