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SANE welcomes vital National Stigma Reduction Strategy work

SANE welcomes vital National Stigma Reduction Strategy work

SANE welcomes plans for the first step in developing the first National Stigma Reduction Strategy for all Australians who live with mental health issues.

The National Mental Health Commission will lead this vital work, and has announced it will begin scoping the project in late January 2021.

The importance of this strategy cannot be overestimated. As our world-leading National Stigma Report Card research revealed, the symptoms of complex mental health issues are compounded by stigma and discrimination.

Stigma and discrimination faced by people living with complex mental health issues can affect many areas of life, leading to disruption in education and employment, relationship breakdown and loss of life satisfaction and opportunities.

This is why one of our priority recommendations for action, based on what people with lived experience shared through the National Stigma Report Card project, is to: “Develop and resource a comprehensive 10-year national program of work to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with complex mental health issues.”

We are therefore heartened to see tangible and immediate action being taken to address the impact of stigma and discrimination, in alignment with our research and advocacy work.

However, SANE will continue to advocate for the prioritisation of the needs of people affected by lower prevalence and less well understood mental health issues.

This includes people living with complex mental health issues, and those who have an experience of complex trauma or are experiencing high levels of psychological distress.

Complex mental health issues include schizophrenia spectrum disorders, bipolar and related disorders, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, personality disorders, trauma-related disorders, eating disorders, and severe depression and anxiety.

SANE is well-placed and eager to support the development of the National Stigma Reduction Strategy, and to ensure that people living with complex mental health issues experience rich and fulfilling lives, free from stigma and discrimination.

This SANE welcomes vital National Stigma Reduction Strategy work page may be freely downloaded, copied and distributed on condition no change is made to the contents. SANE is not responsible for any actions taken as a result of information or opinions contained in this article.