Australians more accepting of mental health | Get Education

Fri Sep 30, 2016

Mental health in Australia has reached a point where an overwhelming majority of people believe we should learn ‘psychological first aid’ to better deal with mental health issues, in the same way that people learn the basics of physical first aid.

A national survey has found that 96 percent of people believe it is important that Australia embraces the World Health Organisation concept of educating about psychological first aid so people can identify mental health issues and know what to do.

The survey shows that nearly half the Australian population (45 percent) is ‘not confident’ or ‘unsure’ of how to recognise mental health issues, and would find it hard to pick between someone who is mentally unwell and someone simply ‘having a bad day.’

More than half the population (51 percent) admitted that if they were faced with someone who is experiencing mental health issues they would be reluctant to get involved and prefer to ‘leave it to professionals’.

At the same time the results indicate how far-reaching mental health experiences are across society. Half of all Australians are experiencing a mental health issue, suspect they have a mental health issue or have had a mental health issue at some stage.

The survey suggests that more than three-quarters of the population (76 percent) knows someone who may be experiencing a mental health issue or have done so in the past, or think they know someone who has or has had a mental helath issue.

35 percent of those living with a mental health issue say they work through it alone, without the support of doctors, counsellors or friends.

Interestingly, more than six out of ten people (64 percent) said that high profile people use mental health issues as an excuse for bad or disrespectful behavior.

Read more on Get Education.