Premier urges Queenslanders to change their minds about mental
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh today (09 October 2011) called on Queenslanders to change their minds about mental illness and join her in pledging to end the stigma surrounding it.
Speaking at the launch of the Appeal for Respect and Inclusion, the Premier said living with a mental illness presented many challenges.
"But one of the biggest challenges is the stigma that so often unfairly comes with it," the Premier said.
"One in five Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, but around two thirds of these people will not seek help because of the stigma associated with it.
"This has an enormous impact on their lives, their careers and their relationships.
"I'm proud to be launching today the Queensland Government's $8.5 million campaign to tackle head on the impact of stigma on the lives of people experiencing mental illness and their loved ones," Ms Bligh said.
"The campaign will include television and print advertising urging people to think about the impact their behaviours and attitudes have on people living with mental illness.
"The first round of TV ads will highlight how quickly the table can turn for someone when work colleagues become aware they are being treated for a mental illness.
"People can treat their mental illness but they can't help how they are treated because of it," Ms Bligh said.
The Premier said the Government was providing an additional $600,000 over three years to the Queensland Alliance for Mental Health to further assist efforts to reach out to the community and talk about attitudes and behaviour towards mental health at the grassroots level.
"Today I have pledged my support for the campaign and I am calling on all Queenslanders to do the same. Together we can break the stigma of mental illness," Ms Bligh said.
Minister for Health Geoff Wilson said Queensland's record $11 billion health budget is delivering a range of community based mental health programs for Queenslanders.
"Queensland Health is working extremely hard to make sure that we are delivering more services closer to home for people living with a mental illness no matter where they live in Queensland.
"We are working hard to deliver more mental health facilities and investing in building on and supporting our extraordinary team of doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who make such an extraordinary difference to the lives of Queenslanders living with a mental illness.
"The Queensland Government is 100 percent behind this campaign and I look forward to Queenslanders joining us in taking the pledge to end the stigma of living with a mental illness in their community," Mr Wilson said.
Minister for Mental Health Curtis Pitt has also pledged his support for the stigma reduction campaign.
"This campaign is about bringing mental health out into the open and ensuring people living with mental illness are getting the support they need," Mr Pitt said.
"People living with mental illness shouldn't be afraid to talk about what they're experiencing or be ashamed to seek help and support.
"I want to urge all Queenslanders to show their support for people experiencing mental ill health," Mr Pitt said.
Queenslanders can take the pledge at www.changeourminds.qld.gov.au
Mental Health Week: 9-15 October 2011
Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
The Honourable Anna Bligh
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