Mental Health: The Elephant in the Room

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With one in five Australians suffering from mental illness each year, mental health truly is Australia’s ‘Elephant in the Room’.

Launching on Friday 3 October the Australian Private Hospitals Association’s (APHA) ‘Elephant in the Room’ campaign will strive to get people talking about mental illness.

Using a herd of giant inflatable elephants to draw attention to some of the most prevalent mental health issues in Australia today, the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) hopes their campaign will draw greater attention to some of the most prevalent mental health issues affecting the community today including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse.

CEO, Michael Roff says the eye catching and thought provoking campaign aims to showcase the impact of mental illness on all Australians and prove how common it is in everyday life, despite many people ignoring the signals.

“Everyone knows someone who may suffer from mental health issues,” he said. “It’s time that mental health stops being the elephant in the room. Our campaign seeks to raise awareness and to get people talking with colleagues, friends and family about mental health.”

Launching on 3 October, the ‘Elephant in the Room’ campaign will unite almost 200 private hospitals across the country in breaking the stigma of mental illness and providing information to the general public.

Around 14% of all Australian adults are affected by an anxiety disorder each year and major depression will be experienced by one in five adults at some point in their lives. Eating disorders meanwhile are the third most chronic illness in the female population and alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia.

“Private psychiatric hospitals treat more than 32,000 Australians each year for depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders,” said Mr Roff. “Many private psychiatric hospitals also offer specialised programs in areas such as work related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Veteran PTSD, drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation, post-natal depression and other mental health conditions. Private psychiatric hospitals provide treatment across in-patient, day patient, out-patient and community settings.”

“Mental Health Week is an ideal time to showcase the brilliant work being done by Australia’s private mental health hospitals,” he continued, “and also to reiterate to Australians that there is only a two month waiting period for psychiatric hospital cover on their private health insurance policies if they need mental health hospitalisation.”

Mental Health Week runs from Sunday October 5 through to Sunday October 11.

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