The Changes That Have Occurred in Service Provision for, and Societal Attitudes Towards, the Mentally Ill in Australia Have Been Positive Developments. These Advances Are Reflected in Improved Statistics for Mental Health in This Country

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Write an essay of 1000 (+/-10%) words on the following topic: Discuss whether you agree or disagree with the following statement:

“The changes that have occurred in service provision for, and societal attitudes towards, the mentally ill in Australia have been positive developments. These advances are reflected in improved statistics for mental health in this country.”

Mental health problems have got more attention from the government and public. It is said that “About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness, and most of us will experience a mental health problem at some time in our lives” (Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, n.d, p.1). In 1992 a National Mental Health Policy was adopted by all Australian governments which then the policy has been implemented through a series of five years National Mental Health Strategy (Whiteford & Buckingham, 2005). An important goal of the Mental Health Strategy was the improvement in the quality of mental health services. This paper argues the position that the number of mental illnesses patients have decreased over the last two decades. The purpose of this essay is firstly to examine whether the changes in services provision which have taken place since 1992 to mentally ill have been positive. Secondly, it will investigate changes in society attitude towards people with mental disorders in this period. It also provides the reasons why more people experience with mental disorder, particularly among the young nowadays.

Surveys have been done to explain the numbers of reason why more people are at risk of mental problems in the modern life. It is said that people living in the remote area; Indigenous people; prisoners and refugees have a higher rate of mental illnesses than urban community due to the lack of access to mental health services and socioeconomic disadvantage (Sankaranarayanan, Carter, & Lewin, 2010; Sawyer, Guidolin, Schulz, McGinnes, Zubrick, & Baghurst, 2010; Savy & Sawyer, 2009). Unemployment is another problematic issue for mental health which accounted for 29% of mental cases in total in 2007, as people worry about financial situations and it would also lead to mental distress and depression (Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS), 2008; Cvetkovsk, Reavley, & Jorm, 2012; Butterworth, 2012). In fact, university students with the financial burden are often faced with the greater risk of distress and other psychotic disorders (Cvetkovski et al., 2012; Savy & Sawyer, 2009). In addition to the employment status, some people might not be able to afford adequate housing, experience social isolation or stress and end up with sustained abuse and behaviour disorders (Lee, et al., 2010).It is undeniable that eating habit would impact on human health physically. However, it is interesting to note that eating habit might also contribute to mental health status. A recent research shows that there is a link between soft drink consumptions and mental health problems among adults. The study found that “those who consumed more than half a litre of soft drink per day had approximately 60 % greater risk of having depression, stress-related problem, suicidal ideation, psychological distress or a current mental health condition, compared with those not consuming soft drinks” (Shi, Taylor, Wittert, Goldney, & Gill, 2010, p. 1073).

Nobody would deny that there is a big effort from the government toward mental health. It is reflected in the amount of money which has been invested in mental health. A sum of 2.2 billion has been funded for mental health in 2011 over 5 year reform, in conjunction with 3.1 billion in 2002. However, the question is whether the money is being spent in the right place or is all of that money actually used for mental health only (Whiteford & Buckingham, 2005). The survey conducted in 2007-08 and 2004-05 shows that there were no differences in the percentage (11%) of people who reported...
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