Mental illness is one of Australia’s top leading causes of disease burden and the largest contributor to the disability burden in Victoria. Gender differences are evident with more females reporting very high levels of psychological distress. It is estimated that mental illness costs the Victorian economy $5.4 billion/year.
Young people are particularly impacted by mental illness. Anxiety and depression are the leading disease burden for young people and 1 in 4 have a diagnosable mental illness. Approximately 1:10 young Australians aged 12-17 years reported having self -harmed and in 2013, suicide was the leading cause of death of children between 5-17 years of age in Australia. The Children’s Right Report (2015) highlights the trauma of children and young people exposed to family violence ‘Even when the child does not directly witness family violence, maternal stress and the overall environment of fear is known to have deleterious impacts on the child’s mental health, with 80-90% of children estimated to suffer from vicarious trauma even if they do not witness the incident directly.’
Recently procured data from the National Coronial Information System showed high rates of suicide in the Macedon Ranges and Mount Alexander, well above the Australian average. Other available evidence tells us that some communities within the CVPCP have high rates of people with depression, anxiety and mental and behavioural problems in the general population. There are also high rate of adolescents who report being bullied compared to the Victorian average. These statistics drive a focus on mental illness but less is understood about mental wellbeing.
Mental wellbeing contributes to healthier lifestyles, better physical health, improved quality of life, greater social connection and productivity. The environments where we live, work, learn, play and build relationships with others are powerful influences on mental health wellbeing and prevention of mental illness. All of these inter-related factors require a broad partnership approach if we are to make a positive impact in the community. We also know that about 75% of mental illness commences before 25 years of age and investing in the early years establishes good health and resilience that will have benefits throughout life.
Positive social relationships, networks and community connectedness are associated with improved mental wellbeing and reduced mental illness. Conversely, social isolation is associated with anxiety, depression and increased rates of morbidity.
To improve mental wellbeing and resilience the CVPCP will focus on initiatives to promote positive social connections, support at life transition points, community cohesion and respectful relationships for the youth in our communities. The program logic for building resilience in our youth to improve mental health and wellbeing is based on the VicHealth Mental Wellbeing strategy 2015-2019, see pic below:
Victoria’s 10-year mental health plan sets an ambitious, long-term vision for mental health and wellbeing. It will guide investment and drive better outcomes for Victorians.
Victorian suicide prevention framework provides a whole-of-government commitment and coordinated strategy to reduce the suicide toll. The framework is one of the priorities outlined in Victoria’s 10-year mental health plan.
The VicHealth Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2015–2019 builds on our extensive experience in promoting mental wellbeing and introduces a new focus to our work: building resilience.
· Download: VicHealth Mental Wellbeing Strategy 2015-2019 (PDF, 3.02MB)
· Literature review 1: Current theories relating to resilience and young people (PDF, 726KB)
· Literature review 2: Epidemiological evidence relating to resilience and young people (PDF, 1.8MB)
· Literature review 3: Interventions to build resilience among young people (PDF, 1.9MB)
The Roadmap for national mental health reform 2012-2022 was endorsed by The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) at its meeting on 7 December 2012.
The roadmap outlines the reform directions governments will take over the 10-year period 2012-2022 and re-commits the Australian Government and states and territories to working together towards real improvements in the lives of people with mental illness, their families, carers and communities.
This group has developed a successor to the Fourth National Mental Health Plan for consideration by COAG. You can download a copy of the draft plan; Fifth National Mental Health Plan – PDF 646 KB
Mental Health Websites: (there are a number of websites for various conditions and life stages)
Please note: We are not able to respond to anyone who might be experiencing a crisis – if this is something you, or a friend of yours is experiencing please contact one of the crisis support services listed below.
If you require support, please contact:
Lifeline (24/7) on 13 11 14 or www.lifeline.org.au
Beyondblue support service (24/7) on 1300 22 4636
Suicide Call Back Service (24/7) – 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline (24/7) – 1800 55 1800
MensLine Australia (24/7) – 1300 78 99 78
If life is in immediate danger please call 000