By Celeste Larkins
Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. It is estimated that 45% of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around one million Australian adults have depression, and over two million have anxiety.
The odds are high that during our lifetime we will be affected by mental illness, either through friends and family, or by experiencing it ourselves.
Research shows that there are similar rates of mental health issues in rural and remote areas of Australia, when compared with metropolitan areas. However, the availability of mental health services in rural/remote areas and the ability for people living in those areas to access these services differs significantly from metropolitan areas.
HCR and partner Radio MAMA in Geraldton, Western Australia, have been working on a grass-roots project with the Mid West community to reduce stigma and break down barriers to seeking professional mental help. HCR has been recording the stories of community members who have a lived experience of managing and recovering from mental illness. These stories are broadcast on Radio MAMA, throughout the Mid West, aimed at connecting with listeners and giving them a greater understanding of the complexities of mental illness.
Listen to this inspiring interview with Cathy, who shares her story of living with bipolar and her journey to recovery. It is by sharing these candid stories and encouraging an honest dialogue about mental health that community radio can give hope to those touched by mental illness.
If you think that you or any of your friends/family are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, please seek professional medical advice from your doctor. For more information on mental health, call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or visit their website: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/
1.Beyond Blue (2015). The facts: Depression and Anxiety are Common Conditions. Retrieved from, http://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts
2.The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (2013). Mental Health in Rural Areas. Retrieved from, https://www.ranzcp.org/Publications/Rural-psychiatry/Mental-health-in-rural-areas.aspx