Australia’s private hospitals sector is set to test just how much Australians really know about some of the nation’s most prevalent mental disorders with the launch of its large-scale campaign, ‘What do you know…. about mental illness?’
Targeting depression, anxiety, substance abuse and eating disorders, Australia’s private mental health hospitals will over the next two months strive to better educate Australians on the lesser known symptoms for these mental disorders and the innovative programmes in private hospitals to treat them.
Launching an interactive series of ‘What do you know...’ quizzes both online and within its hospitals, the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) is also aiming to dispel negative stereotypes and common misconceptions associated with mental illness and get the Australian public more actively involved and talking about the facts.
“While public discussion about mental illness in Australia has certainly improved over the years, we still have a long way to go before we can say that we’ve fully erased negative stigmas,” said Michael Roff, CEO of APHA. “Education plays a key part in this and our campaign will look to actively engage the public in a way that will drive home the facts.”
With almost half of Australians experiencing mental illness at some point in their lives, most people will know someone who is affected and Mr Roff stresses how important it is for the public to have a comprehensive understanding of the most common types of mental illness.
“The fact is that 45.5% of Australians experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime,” he said. “But exactly what classifies as a disorder, how to recognise the signs and how to ensure that your health insurance will cover you and your family if you need it, is not as clear. Not knowing these crucial facts contributes to why people tend to suffer with mental illness in silence and why it’s so important that we address this issue.”
Through pocket sized cards and Facebook quizzes, to an enlightening YouTube video, the eyes of Australians will now be opened by APHA to the range of different symptoms and treatments available for mental illness.
“There’s a common belief that hospitals only provide medical treatment for mental illness,” said Mr Roff, “but some of the most successful private hospital programmes are actually holistic and focus on the bigger picture and improving a patient’s lifestyle. This campaign is about ensuring more people get the help they need and so can better enjoy their life.”
The APHA’s ‘What do you know……… about mental illness?’ has been devised to culminate in activities during this year’s Mental Health Week which will run from October 7 to 13. For more information on the campaign, please see facebook.com/valuingprivatehospitals.