For All Social Support Workers
and Defence Force Spouses
If you work with people, particularly in a social support role, or are a parent, you should consider Mental Health Social Support training mandatory.
Chances are you encounter people every day suffering mental health issues. These people are slipping through the cracks. And you have the opportunity to help.
The statistics are frightening:
- 45% of adult Australians will experience a mental illness.
- 1 in 5 will experience a mental disorder in any 12-month period.
- Mental illness is the leading cause of ‘healthy life’ lost.
- 3 million Australians will experience a major depressive illness.
And these staggering statistics are rapidly getting worse.
Young people are the most prone to experience a mental illness.
- An astounding 26% of 16-24 year olds have experienced a mental disorder in the last 12-months.
- Mental disorders are the leading contributor to the total burden of disease among young Australians – accounting for 49% of that total.
- And 12% of 13-17 year olds have reported having thought about suicide.
These incredible statistics (from the Australian Bureau of Statistics) highlight just how critical it is for parents to be trained in order to improve their chances of recognising mental illness.
SADLY, of all the young Australians inflicted with mental illness, only a minor proportion of them ever receive help. The main reason they don’t receive the help they need being – their parents didn’t know where to get it.
You Know Someone With A Mental Health Problem…
Even If You Don’t Know It Yet
Mental health problems are now so prolific in our communities that it’s almost a certainty you know someone currently experiencing a problem.
With the right training, you can help that family member, friend or colleague.
If their problem is in the early developmental stages, by identifying it early you can assist them quickly overcome the problem and lead a normal, happy, healthy life. Without your early intervention, statistics indicate that problem could quickly escalate to depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use, or even suicide.
If you have a loved one with a mental health problem, MHSS training will give you the fundamental skills to more effectively assist them. By having a more skilled support network, your loved one stands a significantly better chance of full recovery and a normal life.
“By 2020 We’ll Have A Global Depression Pandemic”
World Health Organization.
The World Health Organization has estimated that by year 2020, depression will be the second leading disability causing disease in the world; labelling the dramatic increase a ‘global depression pandemic.’
The ability of people within the network of an at-risk person to provide social support – such as those skills provided in MHSS training – is heralded by experts as being the most significant mitigator against the problem developing into a mental illness.
Possibly the only way we can feasibly stem the rapid onset of mental illness in our society is by broadly educating our communities. By establishing a first line of defence against the onset of mental illness we can realistically reduce the deterioration of first stage illness, and ease the burden of costly and limited therapeutic services.
Social Support – Critical And Effective
Research has identified that healthy, educated social support networks are crucial to the mental health of communities. In fact, early intervention through social support (MHSS) is likely the best mechanism a community has to mitigate against the onset of mental illness, and support those in the early stages of escalating mental health problems.
Our Health System Is Bursting At The Seams…
And Our Loved Ones Are Paying The Ultimate Price
Mental illness is the third largest contributor to the total national health burden (13.2%), yet only receives a measly 6% of the health expenditure. And almost all of that expenditure is on clinical service provision, not early intervention – it’s a band aid solution, provided way too late!
And our loved ones are paying the ultimate price.
Severe mental illness – the types that require clinical intervention, such as clinical depression – don’t just happen overnight. They develop progressively. The early stages of onset are typically due to stress and anxiety as a consequence of an individual’s inability to effectively cope with their environment and circumstances.
Early identification and intervention – in the earliest stages of progression as possible – is the most effective form of treatment. This early stage identification and treatment can very effectively be performed by someone, such as a friend or colleague, with only basic Mental Health Social Support training.
With the government underfunding the problem; diverting funds to treatment rather than early intervention; and the proven effectiveness of social support; there’s only one solution… we must take it upon ourselves to help our loved ones and our colleagues.
The problem is severely underfunded by government. Whilst mental illness is the third largest contributor to the total national health burden (13.2%), it only receives a measly 6% of the health expenditure.
If you don’t step up and help, who will?
Whilst you may feel small and powerless as an individual, collectively we can and are making a big difference.