As Mental Health Week just ran on 7-13 October, the occasion was marked with the announcement that Canberrans are leading the way reaching out for support.
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report, Mental Health Services in Australia, found that more Canberrans are seeking support for mental health concerns at a rate above the national average of service delivery.
ACT Minister for Health Shane Rattenbury said the findings were encouraging.
“This means that more Canberrans are reaching out for support, and feel that they can do so, and that our services are responding their needs,” he said.
Amongst the report’s findings were that the ACT has the highest rates of access to community mental health services, with people accessing specialised mental health services at rates approximately twice the national average.
It also found the ACT has the highest rate of service contacts with Indigenous consumers in the country.
“We know that early intervention and reaching out, and conversations with individuals in our community who are struggling, can make all the difference,” Minister Rattenbury said.
“The report also highlights that the ACT is rather unique in its higher levels of service delivery when compared to other, larger jurisdictions.”
As part of Mental Health Week, headspace day took place on 11 October, a day of support for the mental health and wellbeing of all young Australians.
The theme for this year’s headspace day was ‘Add a little colour to your life’, which was created after new research from headspace found 32% of young Australians report high or very high levels of psychological distress – more than triple what was reported in 2007.
Tracy Boomer, headspace Canberra youth care and community engagement officer, said they held an afternoon event where young people could play board games, meet new people and just have fun.
“Playing board games can be a great way to switch off from your worries and throw yourself into a light-hearted challenge with mates,” she said.