Seventeen thousand Australian households will be contacted for interviews about their mental health and wellbeing, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Brett Mason, announced.
?About 300 Australian Bureau of Statistics staff will carry out these interviews from this month and over the next four months, giving a new insight into Australia?s mental health and wellbeing,? Senator Mason said.
?The Second National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing will be the second major epidemiological survey of its kind undertaken in Australia – 10 years after the first survey.
?The current survey will gather information about the prevalence of mental illness in the Australian population, the amount of associated disablement, and the use of health and other services by people with mental disorders or mental health problems.
?In recent years there has been increased awareness of mental health issues in Australia.
?In July 2006 the Australian Government was pleased to make a significant contribution to the mental health of Australians by investing an additional $1.9 billion through the COAG National Action Plan on Mental Health.
?These initiatives have reshaped Australia?s mental health services, notably through providing new Medicare Benefits Schedule items for services by general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychologists.
?Findings from the first survey were the basis for a number of major policy initiatives by the Australian Government, including our investment in the Better Outcomes in Mental Health program and the setting up of beyondblue, the National Depression Initiative.
?The results of this survey will be important in evaluating the objectives of the COAG national action plan and also in guiding future decisions in mental health,? Senator Mason said.