The Hon Nicola Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing)

The petition of the residents of Australia points out to the Federal health minister:

That all Australians diagnosed with a mental illness have the right to receive quality, timely and responsive mental health care.

Please note that:

  • 1 in 5 adult Australians will experience mental illness at some stage of their lives.
  • Each year a further 20 000 Australians are found to have a mental illness.
  • Three million Australians will experience a major depressive episode.
  • Mental illness is a major risk factor for suicide, with psychological autopsy studies showing that 90% of people who suicide may have been experiencing a mental disorder at the time and that suicide is a prominent public health problem in Australia with over 2000 people suiciding each year.
  • In 2003-04 expenditure on hospital services, both public and private accounted for 34.8% of total recurrent health expenditure. Of this expenditure on hospital services 2% was for public psychiatric hospitals.
  • The number of mental health nurses and professionals that are expected to treat the community continues to increase at unsustainable levels.

We, the undersigned, therefore request the Australian Government adequately fund the public Mental Health system to:

- Ensure the expansion of hospital and community services to meet the increased community demand.

- Ensure any Australian diagnosed with a mental illness does not continue to suffer disadvantage from the current underfunded mental health services.

- Reduce the impact of mental illness on individuals, families and the community.

- Where possible prevent the development of mental illness by promoting mental health to the Australian community through awareness and education.

- Ensure rural communities have access to adequate mental health care.

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The Improve Mental Health Care In Australia petition to The Hon Nicola Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) was written by Rebecca Fidele and is in the category Health at GoPetition.