Australia's Mental Health Crisis Worse Than Feared


Fraser Clarke

New research has revealed that Australia’s mental health crisis could be far worse than previously imagined.

According to findings compiled by mental health organisation ‘Beyond Blue’, an average of 82 men daily either attempt suicide, or have had serious thoughts about suicide - with Ambulances attending more than 30,000 of such cases annually.

Often Emergency Departments will record just a single reason for a patient’s visit, and frequently the mental health aspect is overlooked in favour of more physical issues.

Beyond Blue chair, Julia Gillard, outlined just how concerning the findings are. She said: “This research tells us that suicide-related presentations to our health services by men triple when measured by ambulance data rather than hospital data. It tells us that what we know about male suicide is just the tip of the iceberg.

Her concerns were echoed by CEO Georgie Harman, who added: “There is an urgent need for system reform.

“In particular, we must stop the revolving door of acute presentations to hospital emergency departments, by valuing and investing more in community-based support and alternative pathways to deal with the immediate crisis.”

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