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Study launch to better understand the experience of Australians living with complex mental health issues

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Study launch to better understand the experience of Australians living with complex mental health issues

MEDIA RELEASE

29th October 2019

A new national survey that seeks to understand the life experiences of people living with severe and complex mental health issues is now live and seeking participants.

Our Turn to Speak is the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in Australia. It is being led by SANE Australia’s Anne Deveson Research Centre in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Survey participants will be asked to share their experiences across a range of 14 different areas including housing, employment, education, healthcare, insurance and finance. The survey findings will help to inform SANE Australia’s advocacy priorities and contribute to policy change, as well as influencing resources and programs at a local, regional and national level.

Anne Deveson Research Centre Director Dr Michelle Blanchard and University of Melbourne Honorary Senior Fellow explains that more than 690,000 Australians live with severe and complex mental health issues.  This research will examine the individual experiences, whether positive or negative, of people living with these issues.

“Data collected will be used to inform our future efforts as we work toward improved social outcomes and support for all Australians affected by complex mental health issues,” Dr Blanchard said.

University of Melbourne research lead Dr Christopher Groot, who also holds an appointment as Director of the Mental Illness Stigma Lab in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, said the survey will provide a unique opportunity for Australians living with severe and complex mental health issues to be heard.

“We’re calling for 7000 people to take part in this comprehensive survey – online, over the phone, or in-person  –  so we can gain a deep understanding of how people living with severe and complex mental health issues are treated in Australia,” Dr Groot said.

Paul Ramsay Foundation Chief Executive Officer Professor Glyn Davis AC explains it’s vital this information is collected.

“This is much-needed data and has the potential to improve significantly the lives of these individuals and their families,” Professor Davis said.

To be eligible to take part in the survey, you must be an Australian resident, aged 18 and over, who has been living with at least one of the following severe and complex mental health issues over the last 12 months: schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar and related disorders, personality disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, severe and ‘treatment-resistant’ depression and anxiety requiring multi-agency support. 

Visit www.ourturntospeak.com.au to take part in the online survey.

ENDS

To request an interview with Dr Michelle Blanchard or Dr Christopher Groot, please contact:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday contact:
Ellen Sproule - 0407 367 215
Thursday, Friday contact:
Bianca Lapins - 0439 708 381

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.sane.org

Anyone looking for information, support and guidance from mental health professionals can contact the SANE Help Centre on 1800 187 263 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. from 10am-10pm AEST. 

For anyone in crisis, call:

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Suicide Call Back Line 1800 659 467
  • MensLine 1300 789 978
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

ABOUT SANE AUSTRALIA
SANE Australia is a national mental health charity working to support Australians affected by complex mental health issues including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression and anxiety.

ABOUT THE ANNE DEVESON RESEARCH CENTRE
The Anne Deveson Research Centre (ADRC), an initiative of SANE Australia, promotes the wellbeing of Australians affected by complex mental health issues. The ADRC undertakes practical research that drives policy change to produce better social outcomes. The ADRC prioritises research conducted in partnership with people who have lived experience of complex mental health issues. The ADRC focuses on multidisciplinary research exploring the social impacts of these conditions and addressing stigma and discrimination.

ABOUT THE PAUL RAMSAY FOUNDATION
The Paul Ramsay Foundation seeks to identify and partner with individuals, communities and organisations working to create an Australia where people can overcome disadvantage and realise their potential. The late Paul Ramsay AO established the Foundation in 2006 and, after his death in 2014, left the majority of his estate to continue his philanthropy for generations to come. His commitment to good works has allowed the Paul Ramsay Foundation to support the for-purpose sector with grants of more than $200 million made since 2016 to more than 70 different partners, committed as we are to achieving lasting change. For more information about the work of the Foundation, go to https://paulramsayfoundation.org.au/

ABOUT THE MELBOURNE SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
The Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences (MSPS) at the University of Melbourne are committed to transforming the world we live in through ground-breaking research, inspiring entrepreneurship, and by providing an outstanding education that reflects the needs of our domestic and global community.

Last updated: 1 November, 2019
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