St George Illawarra Dragons Ambassador Dan Hunt proudly supports the work being conducted to raise awareness of mental health issues by headspace.
The Dragons Ambassador has admitted to suffering first-hand the effects of mental issues and helps educate others in his capacity as an NR: State of Mind Ambassador.
Startling new research has revealed the shocking role that “stigma” plays in preventing young Australians seeking help for mental health issues.
Each year, a quarter of all young people in this country will experience mental health issues, however many of them will not seek the help that they need.
New research, funded by an NHMRC Partnership Grant to the Centre for Youth Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and in partnership with headspace revealed that 26 per cent of young people aged 12 – 25 would not tell anyone about a personal mental health issue.
Professor Debra Rickwood, a chief investigator on the research from headspace, said it showed that 52 per cent of young people were embarrassed to discuss a mental health problem with anyone and nearly half were afraid of what others would think.
“The results also found that 22 per cent would be unlikely or very unlikely to discuss it with their family doctor,” said Rickwood.
headspace CEO Chris Tanti said stigma plays a profound and significant role in stopping Australian youth from seeking help for mental health issues.
“Stigma can make it harder to ask for help and get support for mental health issues out of fear of being judged,” said Tanti.
headspace Community Engagement Officer Sofia Potente said that spending time and getting to know people impacted by mental health issues, hearing their stories and understanding their experiences helps to change negative attitudes, reduce fear and social distance.
“The other is education – providing information and knowledge about mental health issues and the benefits of seeking help and seeking help early,” said Potente.
To combat stigma, headspace has launched a vital National Awareness Campaign aimed at informing Australians that the more we talk openly about mental health issues, the easier it becomes for young people to seek help for them.
26 per cent of young people aged 12 – 25 would not tell anyone if they had a mental health problem, and 22 per cent would be unlikely/very unlikely to discuss it with their family doctor.
52 per cent of young people aged 12 – 25 that have identified having a mental health problem in the last 12 months would be embarrassed to discuss the problem with anyone, and 49 per cent would be afraid of what others think.