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World Mental Health Day promotes awareness

7 October 2011 - 4:36pm

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an initiative that aims to open discussion about the need for further investment in treatment.

Dr Maria Tomasic, president of The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists believes that a stigma still exists concerning the wellbeing of individuals.

Tomasic urges people who are struggling with such issues to understand that there is no need to feel embarrassed or to adopt an attitude that it is a sign of weakness.

"Without seeking the right treatment, relationships, productivity at work and social activities can all be affected. There are effective treatments for mental illness which can alleviate the distressing symptoms of anxiety, depression or psychosis and can significantly improve your life," she asserts.

The federal government's Private Health Insurance Ombudsman states that one in five Australians will experience some form of mental illness in their lives.

Patients with private health care can receive treatment for psychiatric ailments, with their policy covering a portion of the hospital costs.

Whilst progress is being made in regards to the perception of mental health, Tomasic believes more can still be done, particularly where research is concerned.