World Mental Health Day

9 Oct 2020

Today is World Mental Health Day, a day to raise awareness of mental health issues and the importance of mental health help and support.

In Australia, almost half of the population will develop a mental health disorder during their life. People affected by addiction are even more likely to have mental health concerns, with at least 64% of people who use alcohol or other drugs daily experiencing a mental health disorder in the previous 12 months.

There are many reasons why people affected by addiction experience mental health issues. Addiction may be a consequence of people using alcohol or other drugs, or gambling, to relieve or cope with mental health symptoms they are experiencing. For some people, addiction or mental health issues may negatively compromise important areas in their life, for example relationship quality or educational achievement, which can then lead to the development of another mental health or addiction issue. In others, addiction and mental health concerns may arise from the same, common risk factors, such as lower socioeconomic status and genetic vulnerability. Importantly, irrespective of how co-occurring addiction and mental health issues come about, both conditions may serve to exacerbate or maintain the other.

This year, the theme of World Mental Health Day is investing in mental health. At Turning Point we are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by addiction, and we recognise that there is no health without mental health. We have a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health clinicians available to ensure that mental health concerns are recognised and managed in people affected by addiction. Our National Addiction and Mental Health Surveillance Unit has secured funding from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Commonwealth Department of Health, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Beyond Blue, Movember, Google, and the Australian Institute of Criminology to produce research that can change the lives of those affected by addiction, self-harm and mental health.

So this World Mental Health Day, join us in our pledge to continue to find solutions, to make a difference and support mental health.

If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health difficulties, reach out to your general practitioner or health professional, visit Head to Health to learn more about mental health and available supports, or please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 if you are experiencing a crisis.

If you are experiencing addiction remember we are here to help.