The statistics regarding mental health in Australia are both startling and unacceptable. One in three Australians will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime. Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents.
We need to acknowledge those who are doing ground-breaking work in this area.
The Australian Mental Health Prize seeks to recognise Australians who have made outstanding contributions to either the promotion of mental health or the prevention and treatment of mental illness in areas such as advocacy, research or service.
I would like to encourage clinicians, health professionals and the public at large to nominate the people they feel should be recognised for their work.
More information and nomination forms can be obtained from www.australianmentalhealthprize.org.au. Entries close on August 31.
Ita Buttrose AO OBE, Chair of the Australian Mental Health Prize Advisory Group
PROUD OF OUR OWN
Members of the relatively new Seniors United Party of Australia (SUPA) can be proud that one of our own, Dr Yvonne McMaster, had a small but significant part in this years NSW state budget.
Her passionate advocacy for improvements in palliative care through petitioning and speaking on the subject has born fruit, particularly after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian heard her talk.
The $100 million to be spent on palliative care throughout regional NSW will see "dozens of new nurses, training for hundreds of staff and better resourced end-of -life care in regional communities throughout the state" (Illawarra Mercury, 13th May 2017).
Only last year this writer witnessed the wonderful support these palliative care nurses offered at Port Kembla hospital where a much loved sister in law, Barbara Farrer past away with cancer.
It is anticipated that this government money will allow more people in regional areas to have the same wonderful care in their final days. Something many do not receive now.
Bob Patrech, Illawarra/South Coast contact, Seniors United Party of Australia
VALIDATING A VIEW
Adrian Devlin’s June 21 letter “Why special rights?” demonstrates the fundamental contradiction at the heart of the conservative (as opposed to libertarian) right perspective on same-sex marriage. Mr Devlin, like most conservative Christians, will tolerate freedom only so far as it represents no threat to his world view.
There is a curious fragility at the heart of most supposedly devout Christians, a deep-rooted fear that I have often thought boils down to this: “What if I’m wrong? What if it all isn’t real?” It gnaws at the conservative heart and can only be pacified if society as a whole is structured along Christian principles and practices.
It isn’t enough to have a personal view of marriage as between a man and a woman; people like Mr Devlin use the state to compel others to act in accordance with their beliefs and so validate their view of the world and of human nature.
If I could offer Mr Devlin some wisdom, it would be the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson: “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg”.
Brett Heino, Koonawarra
VOLUNTEER NO MORE
I was a 70 year-old volunteer at Puckey’s Estate until today when I left in disgust at Wollongong City Council’s attitude to volunteering in the Illawarra.
No more will any compliments be heard by me or any other volunteers by the general users of this natural bush site so close to the city. Will it be sold off to hungry developers? Only time will tell.
Friends of Stuart Park, frustrated with the shrinking public spaces, should note this in their fight to protect the Park from the Skydive the Beach aficionados as well as the pumping of money into the Blue Mile Project by the Council.
Yes I had social contact there as well as experiencing bushcare methods from various people but strongly believe that the area will return to an overgrown, weed-infested state once the meagre facilities and the volunteers are no more.
Paul Wells, Corrimal