Every Australian family knows what it is like to love someone who is struggling with their mental health.
For some people, mental health and well-being is as simple as looking after yourself properly. For others it’s about getting the right kind of support at the right time.
For some of us, it is a tough battle requiring focused care that needs a lot of support of and attention, sometimes for a lifetime.
But right now too many Australians are not getting the care and treatment they need. Waitlists are out of control, essential access to services is out of reach, and too many treatments that we know can change lives are not getting the funds they need.
Too many Australians have mental health conditions that are not being diagnosed early enough, much less treated. And there is too much avoidable harm being done to everyone’s mental health that we’ve come to accept as just a normal part of life.
We don’t accept it needs to be that way.
Australians want and deserve better for their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, friends and co-workers. We don’t accept that ‘more of the same’ is what Australians want or deserve.
That’s why Australians for Mental Health is coming together, as a community of everyday people in the suburbs and towns of our country, to speak up for something better.
We can imagine a time when every mind matters — where every Australian, regardless of where you live or the size of your bank balance, regardless of how simple or how serious your needs are, and regardless of whether you are surrounded by the support of loved ones or feel isolated and alone, you can get the best possible treatment — where and when you need it.
It also means making ourselves accountable — from the kitchen table to the Boardroom table to the Cabinet table — for ensuring that the decisions we take support, rather than harm, the mental health of other people.
We know that by coming together, across the diversity of our country, looking each other in the eye, and deciding to speak up together, we can start to change the course of our shared destiny.
We believe a better future lies ahead when our governments, our businesses, our faith groups, schools, community organisations and even our families make a simple commitment to each other: that we will put the wellbeing of all Australians at the centre of our decision-making and the heart of our national life.