Mental health gets the recognition it needs

Every year, the attitude around mental health grows stronger and more accepting.

Conversations are louder, drowning out the stigma.

Once, and not even that long ago, mental health disorders were kept in the dark.

Those who lived with them lived with them in secret. They were like a stain on the floor that a rug covered up.

Today, it is accepted that a mental health disorder – like depression or anxiety – is a sickness, a medical condition, that too needs treatment.

On Saturday, The Examiner editorial wrote of the importance in funding for mental health programs and platforms.

On that same day, the Liberal Party announced its plan for mental health, ahead of the state election.

Its re-election promise would see 25 news mental health beds created within the state.

The Liberals’ announcement follows that of Labor’s mental health plan, released at the start of the month.

Labor has pledged to build 12 new mental health facilities within the state, if it is elected.

Both parties have focused on supporting on-the-ground services in Rural Alive and Well, while the Liberals have pledged money for the Butterfly Foundation, and Labor has thrown its weight behind a residential treatment facility for young people.

It is encouraging to see political parties of all colours acknowledging that mental health is an investment all of its own, and can no longer be wrapped into an umbrella health funding package.

But while we wait for the government dollars to roll out, everyday Tasmanians are taking it upon themselves to make a difference to mental health funding.

This weekend’s Party in the Paddock has a long history of fundraising for national organisation beyondblue.

This year, the festival organisers announced they have teamed up with Launceston-based organisation Stigma No More.

It’s the festival’s way, organisers said, of giving back directly to its community. Each ticket sold will see $1 go towards the charity.

From national movements like Movember and R U OK? day, to grassroots fundraisers, people are actively recognising the importance of mental health services.

  • Lifeline 13 11 14, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, MensLine 1300 789 978, beyondblue 1300 224 636