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July 6, 2005

Many With Mental Disorders Are Not Receiving Help

The mental health charity SANE, has a helpline for those in need within Australia. The helpline receives about 16,000 calls a year and a lot of the people calling are not receiving help for their disorder; 43% of the 16,000 were not receiving help.

Most of the people had depression, 15% had schizophrenia and 11% had bipolar disorder. Many of those who called came from rural and remote communities. 40% of callers came from these rural/remote areas; this is a lot considering the fact that they only make up about 14% of the population.

Health Minister Jim McGinty stated that $173 million will be designated to improving mental health services.

"SANE director Barbara Hocking said the statistics revealed that the Government's care-in-the-community strategy wasn't working. 'Once someone is diagnosed, it is very easy for them to slip out of the system,' she said. 'More and more people are just being told to go to the GP. So they go off the files, they don't appear at the GP and nobody follows them up. The most ill people slip off the radar until they get acutely ill'" (Madden, 2005).

Mrs. Hocking went on to say that having early and ongoing treatment available to those with mental disorders could save millions. In Australia alone, 6-million working days were lost due to depressive disorders. This resulted in a $3.3 billion loss of productivity.

The source of this article is the Nationwide News Pty Limited Sunday Times from Perth, Australia.

The SANE website can be found at: http://www.sane.org

The SANE helpline can be contacted at 1800 688 382

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