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  • Subject Name : Mental health

Reflection of Current Australian Society

"Present day Australia is in a good position (compared to the past) with regards to service provision for, and societal attitudes towards, people suffering from mental illness"

Mental health includes psychological, emotional and social well-being of an individual. It is the state of a person who is function at a satisfactory level of behavior and emotional aspects. Mental health has major economic and social costs to the Australian society. A survey done by the government in 2009 showed that the anxiety related disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric conditions with 14.4 per cent of Australians aged 16-85 suffering anxiety disorders per year, more than twice as many depressive disorders. Such results have led Australia to work towards improving the mental health system. And at present the government have worked on mental health improving the condition by providing funding and schemes.

In Australia, depression, anxiety, substance use like drugs and alcoholism leads to most common psychiatric illnesses. In 1990s the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (NSMHWB) did an initiative survey to check the mental health and illness in the population. The survey focused on the mental impairment related with mental problems and the amount of healthcare services are used by mental impaired individual. The survey was based on population where the children and adults were categorized into different groups.

Also, it included the information about the services for people with mental disorder. It is estimated that about 4–6 percent of the population (about 1.2 million) has a severe condition and another 9–12 percent (about 2.6 million) has a mild condition. It was found that depression, anxiety, use of drugs, alcoholism are some of the conditions leading to mental illness and morbidity (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The assessment of survey led the Australian government to work towards the mental health.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) have spent $8 billion on managing the mental health programs nationwide in past few years. A recent report suggested that 615,000 people which accounts for 2–3 percent of Australian population from the census 2017 have a severe mental disorder (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020).

The requirements of mental health patients are organized and controlled across a range of programs, including policies and proposals negotiated at national level. All the state and territory governments of Australia share responsibility for making for support programs and health policies for mental health. They are further responsible for delivering the funds for advanced mental health services and support services. In 2014, the National Mental Health Commission carried out review of services and mental health programs for mental ill patients in private sector, government as well as non-government sectors. After identification of the needy people from the survey, people with mental disorders can have the funds from the health policies and schemes (Department of Health, 2014). In 2019 the Government of Australia provided many more health-related funds to the people which includes $736.6 million for mental health and suicide prevention initiatives. Another $373 million was provide for extension of centres, schemes and programs for mental health (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2020).

The Australian governments have many services and app which people can access for information and advices regarding the mental health like- Healthdirect, carer gateway. National health services directory holds all records of health-related services, practices, psychology and counselling (Health direct Australia, 2019). Psychologists and other health care professional are made available by the government for people with mental health disorders. They help to enhance the quality of life of a patient in times of crisis, to avoid recurrence and to sustain treatment.

The health department of the country has also been taking care of the patients with mental illness by having trained professionals to handle them. The caregiver or nurses handling people with mental illness are the best information source for implementing any system or rules for the patients as they work directly with the patients. The nurses are helping in the implementation of new funding programs so that patients can have an access to affordable and continuous treatment along with medications and therapy (Health direct Australia, 2019). Since the care from health care professional and nurses have a major effect on patient attitude, and there are great chances of a positive result for the patient. The healthcare system looks forward to improving patients' general well-being and this includes their mental health.

The experts thorough psychiatric tests help recognize and diagnose different mental health conditions and diseases. This helps direct adequate treatment, and diminishes the complications that may cause a relapse in the mental health. The other way an individual can get help in improvement of mental health is by a psychiatric social worker. It is very demanding and challenging role as the person closely with individuals suffering from complex and hard to manage conditions (Bandelow, 2015). They provide counselling, treatment and organizing care for individuals who are seriously mentally ill who require hospitalization or other intensive clinical assistance.

Mental illness patients require a lot of support from their family members and from the society. The society should be sensitized to attitudinal statements about mental illness. There is no doubt that the mental health is taken in a very different and negative way as compared to the physical health. Mental disorders in nature can be chronic or episodic and the level of the severity also varies. The social stigma has to be addressed at various levels be it at educational institution or at a social level (Shrivastava et al., 2018). The person with mental illness experiences the stigma which generates from the lack of understanding of mental disorders as physical illness.

It is true that Australian government is working towards the mental health and illness of its people and well-being. They are making many norms and awarding funding for the purpose. Heath department has been trained and well equipped for handling such patients. At society level also people are sensitized towards the cause. The ultimate goal of the government is to make their people free from the health problems in coming years. The increase of stress and lifestyle has brought the likelihood of becoming mentally ill, but there is availability of medical treatment and cure for persons with mental illness so the government has to ensure availability of these services to the needy people.


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, (2020). Mental health services in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mental-health-services/mental-health-services-in-australia/report-contents/summary/prevalence-and-policies Bandelow, B. (2015). Epidemiology of anxiety disorders in 21st century. Dialogues in Clinical Neurosciences. 17(3), 327–335.

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Mental health conditions: Depression and anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html

Health direct Australia. (2019). Mental Health. Retrieved from https://about.healthdirect.gov.au/carer-gateway Shrivastava, A., Sousa, A., Lodha, P. (2018) Research progress in the understanding and implications of stigma related to mental health. Annals of Indian Psychiatry.2(2), 93-100.

The Department of Health. (2009). Prevalence of mental disorders in the Australian population. Retrieved from https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/mental-pubs-m-mhaust2-toc~mental-pubs-m-mhaust2-hig~mental-pubs-m-mhaust2-hig-pre

Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Mental health conditions: Depression and anxiety. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/depression-anxiety.html

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