01 March 2023
A recent government-funded project found that a surprisingly high proportion of people were prepared to have a face-to-face conversation with a person enquiring about their mental health. Yet the results of these conversations are concerning.
Nearly half of those who spoke reported being in some sort of mental distress – and one-third said they needed more support than they were currently getting.
Of those who actually wanted to seek help with their mental health, 43 per cent said they weren’t able to, for reasons including cost, not knowing where to go to get support, or being too afraid, embarrassed or ashamed to ask.
The study also showed that precarious housing, employment challenges and financial stress also correlated with higher levels of distress.
According to an evaluation of the project by the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia, the conversations did, however, spark action.
Six in ten said they felt encouraged to speak to a loved one about their own mental health and wellbeing. And more than half took some further action or set a plan to seek professional help, with 32 per cent contacting a professional, a service or a community organisation to ask about support for their mental health or wellbeing.
Read the article in The Australian or download a copy of the article here. Read the Centre for Social Impact’s ‘Door-to-door for mental health’ report summary here.