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Mental Health Care Challenges

Tuesday 17th of January 2006

"One in five Australians will experience symptoms of mental illness within a twelve month period" (p14) according to the National Mental Health Report 2005 (NMHR) released just before Christmas by the Australian Government.


"The NMHR highlights the burden of mental illness in our communities", says Rev. Brian Kirk, Executive Director for the Anglican Counselling Service.


Rev. Kirk says, "ACS counsellors are seeing an increase in the complexity of cases exhibiting anxiety, depression, addictive disorders and substance abuse disorders and to a lesser extent, psychoses, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, suicidality and severe personality disorders."


According to the NMHR, "14% of children and young people are affected by mental disorders in any six month period." Rev. Kirk says, "10% of clients seen by ACS counsellors are children and young people who are seen for a range of issues including depression, aggressive behaviour and attention disorders."


The NMHR highlights a growing awareness of the need for better access to and a better quality of mental health care. Rev. Kirk says, "This is even more relevant in regional, rural and remote areas where workforce shortages, transport costs, inequitable government funding and accessibility to appropriate information may affect both the quantity and quality of care."


Rev. Kirk says, "ACS applauds the timely release of the report and calls on the Australian and NSW state Governments to renew their commitment to the National Mental Health reform process and increase the Mental Health share of overall health resources."


For More Information Contact:

Anglican Counselling Service (Diocese of Armidale)
PO Box 3052 Tamworth 2340
Tel: (02) 6762 4380
FAX: (02) 6762 5740
Internet: acsdarm@acsdarm.org.au


Authorised: Rev Brian Kirk, Executive Director

17 January, 2006

Phone contact: (02) 6762 4380

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