South Australians are being reminded to treat their mental health with as much importance as their physical wellbeing amid the start of Mental Health Week 2019 today.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, said one-in-five South Australians experience mental illness in any one year and Mental Health Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the services, information and support available when we need help.
“It can be a lot easier for people to speak up when they are feeling physically ill or have a headache, but it can be much harder to tell someone when your mental health is suffering,” Minister Wade said.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to ensuring all South Australians have access to safe mental health care that protects and respects the rights of people who engage with services.
“There are a range of events planned across Adelaide this week, and I encourage everyone to get involved and take the opportunity to start a conversation with their friends and family about mental health.”
The State Liberal Government is expanding the SA Mental Health Commission to include Commissioners with lived experience as part of a plan to improve the governance of South Australia’s mental health services.
The reformed Commission will be available to co-design plans and projects in partnership with Wellbeing SA, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Local Health Networks and Primary Health Networks.
South Australia’s Chief Psychiatrist, Dr John Brayley, said Mental Health Week encourages the community to develop a better understanding of mental health and what actions they can take for themselves and others.
“This year’s theme is ‘Mind your health’, and focuses on wellbeing, support and community,” Dr Brayley said.
“People who have had personal experience of mental health problems have a key role in this week’s activities, as they are expertly placed to educate the wider community about mental health.
“The evidence for the added benefits of getting early support or treatment is strong. It applies across a range of conditions, and to people across age ranges – children, young people, adults and older persons. While awareness has improved in the last decade, as a community we still need to overcome the barriers that have stopped us talking about mental health and have delayed people seeking support.”
Mental Health Week runs from today to Friday 11 October.
Some of the highlights of this year’s Mental Health Week include:
· Carnival in the North (Wednesday 9 October) – showcases the skills and talents of people living with a mental illness while providing information and activities to raise community awareness.
· From the Ground Up (Thursday 10 October) – a free breakfast forum for those who work in the construction industry or trades and are interested in mental health on worksites
· Laughter is The Best of Meds (Thursday 10 October) – Comedy night held at the Rhino Room hosted by comedian and 2019 Mental Health Ambassador, Mickey D
· Festival of Now (Friday 11 October) – This unique event brings the mental health community together to showcase creativity and break down misconceptions around mental illness
For a full program of events visit https://www.mhcsa.org.au/