Improving mental health care matters to Ian Hickie


Uploaded by uniofsydney on 03.06.2012

Transcript:
bjbj Ian Hickie: If you go out into the wider community and you say to people, What s the
most important part of your health? What s the thing you d be most afraid of losing?
Most people will say, Their mind Super: How common are mental health problems? Ian Hickie:
People are often really surprised about how common mental health problems are and the
degree of their impact on people s lives. For example about 40% of all disability in
Australia is due to brain and mind conditions. Super: Why are you passionate about this work?
Ian Hickie: If I go break my leg or I have a heart attack or I develop cancer, in Australia
I will get some of the best health care in the world. We still provide very average mental
health care. So the gap between what we expect in physical health care and what we deliver
in mental health care is very large. So that annoys me a lot. And a lot of the people who
are affected by that have no voice to say that. They are progressively disadvantaged.
They are progressively left out. They can t say it themselves. They re more likely to
end up homeless. They re more likely to end up with no income. They re more likely to
end up with no family or friends. So they don t have the same voice as those who ve
got cancer or heart disease or those who suffer injury or other issues. Super: How has treatment
changed and what is the future? Ian Hickie: These days we can study the brain in action,
in life and that changes completely our understanding of what is happening as people are having
thoughts, having feelings, listening to music, trying to overcome various problems that they
ve got with speech, or with walking, or with thinking. We are one of those areas of health
and social services that will use the new internet based technologies, to actually make
these services available in your home when you need them. To monitor your own thoughts,
your own mood, your own physiology as it changes and to have the skills that you need to actually
bring those things back into normal alignment. Australia actually leads to world in de-stigmatisation
of mental health problems in wanting to respond more inclusively in a more understanding way.
But we have a long way to go. We ve got centuries of attitudes to change. Science is new, the
understanding is new. But the great news in Australia is we are shifting faster than anywhere
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