Politics

Apr 21, 2016

No, Beyondblue, we do not need more awareness about mental health

If you don't have a mental illness, you don't need more "awareness" of a condition you don't have.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

razer555

Eight years ago this winter, my then partner and I sat in a waiting room so comically depressing, we might have laughed but for fear of the Carry On Matron administrator. Management of a public MS clinic is not easy work, and this honourable health worker made that clear in an unspoken instant. There was to be no laughter, no lateness and no threat at all to the smooth operation of a barely funded, enormously useful service.

You arrive on time. You submit to tests. You try to help the doctor place you on a disability status scale.

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44 comments

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44 thoughts on “No, Beyondblue, we do not need more awareness about mental health

  1. Joshua Kimber

    This will be the first and last article I read by this journalist – yikes. I mean, of all the things you could find to be cynical about, this was it? I’m out, someone revoke my free trial.

  2. Kevin Herbert

    Wow….that’s an article the likes of which I hope I never have to read again.

  3. Nicholas

    I support the argument of this article. The mentally ill need more services, not more touchy-feely platitudes. We all need to change the ideology of our country. We need to loosen the uncritical embrace of the neoliberal idea that we are just consumption entities with no structural alternatives to how we organize our economy and society. We need a full employment economy in which the federal government guarantees everyone a job at a living wage. We need to build our institutions around the values of cooperation, democracy, and humanism instead of competition, hierarchy, status, prestige, and consumerism. Services, ideology, the economy, values – these are the main game for promoting good mental health. Awareness-raiding is a pitifully inadequate response.

  4. Nicholas

    I support the argument of this article. The mentally ill need more services, not more touchy-feely platitudes. We all need to change the ideology of our country. We need to loosen the uncritical embrace of the neoliberal idea that we are just consumption entities with no structural alternatives to how we organize our economy and society. We need a full employment economy in which the federal government guarantees everyone a job at a living wage. We need to build our institutions around the values of cooperation, democracy, and humanism instead of competition, hierarchy, status, prestige, and consumerism. Services, ideology, the economy, values – these are the main game for promoting good mental health. Awareness-raising is a pitifully inadequate response.

  5. klewso

    With the public face of Jeff Kennett – with his record for generating angst?

  6. gu11y f0y1e

    Kennett is a chancre that never heals. Science is wrong, wrong, wrong! The Sun and all the stars revolve around the Jeff in mute adoration. If there was the slightest evidence that he felt depressed about the immense harm he did to the country, he might engender a modicum of sympathy. But we all know (he told us so, again and again) that he was up there with the great saviors of humankind. Now there’s awareness for you.

  7. Andrea

    You lost me at “But, like any disorder, mental illness tends to affect particular groups of people: socially disadvantaged ones.”
    This is rubbish; mental illness in some cases can be triggered by circumstances, but not always, and these circumstances are not necessarily those of social disadvantage.

    1. h_j_m

      Well, then you’ll find yourself up against well established and accepted psychological research which shows economic and social disadvantage very much affects mental health, prognosis and response to treatment.

      1. Ben Mullings

        Who do you suppose accesses Medicare support for psychological care? Quite a lot of people who would otherwise not see a psychologist, if it were not for the fact that they are receiving Medicare support (there’s data for that too).

  8. TimJK

    Helen Razer, you don’t always have to be controversial!

    1. Helen Razer

      TimJK. You don’t always have to dismiss something with which you may disagree as controversial. Perhaps reconsider that the prominent view advanced by beyondblue of “just be nicer to the unfortunate” is as useful to our social interests as religion. And wonder if a plea for more effective health care, now eclipsed here and in many other cases by sentiment, is less controversial than it is fairly ordinary and practical.

  9. Draco Houston

    “This will be the first and last article I read by this journalist – yikes. I mean, of all the things you could find to be cynical about, this was it? I’m out, someone revoke my free trial.”
    If you can’t read the article before commenting no one wants you here.
    “This is rubbish; mental illness in some cases can be triggered by circumstances, but not always, and these circumstances are not necessarily those of social disadvantage.”
    Oh word? Got some data on that? A quick google search verifies Helen’s claim, try googling the suicide stats for ATSI folks for starters. I found some stats on LGBTI demographic that disputes your baseless assertion from *drumroll* BeyondBlue. Cheers.

  10. AR

    Removal from the gene pool would be favourite.

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