According to new research by the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA), four out of ten Australians who use mental health services are very satisfied with them.
“We surveyed 1,000 Australians and more than 40% of those who experience, or have been diagnosed with, a mental illness told us they are very satisfied with the services they are using,” MHCA CEO Frank Quinlan said today.
“It is so easy for us to be pessimistic, but this research shows there is a lot of good news for those who experience mental illness in Australia. This is particularly encouraging for those who may be thinking about seeking help.
“This sort of data also encourages continued investment in mental health services by governments across Australia, towards the provision of the best services when and where they are needed.
“Through our World Mental Health Day campaign, we are promoting a message that will break down stigma in regards to mental illness, bring communities together and encourage people to seek help early; in essence a message of hope.”
The research found that 18% of respondents were currently experiencing a mental illness, which mirrors the national survey on mental health and wellbeing conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The findings come in the lead up to World Mental Health Day on 10 October. In addition to 41% of participants with a mental illness reported they were very satisfied with their treatment, 44% report they were mixed but mostly satisfied.
“We also found that 13% of people surveyed were very dissatisfied with the treatment they received for their mental illness and this shows us we have a lot more work to do,” Mr Quinlan said.
“As always, women were more likely to seek treatment than men, and the most common point of call for help-seeking is a GP.
“The main reasons for not seeking help were stigma and embarrassment, the short term nature of an experience, or gender, with one responded who was asked why he didn’t seek help simply saying “I am a man”. By asking people to make a mental health promise and talk about mental health, we are changing this sort of attitude.”
The MHCA is calling on people to make and share their mental health promise, to encourage more people to open up about mental health. Anyone can make a promise at www.1010.org.au/promise/add.
photo credit: Christian Collins