Authors: Matt Fisher, Tamara Mackean
Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The most common forms of mental illness – anxiety, affective and substance abuse disorders – affect around 4 million Australians every year. Incidence of these high-prevalence forms of mental illness is strongly influenced by social determinants of health such as: poverty, unemployment, limited education, racism, and child abuse or neglect. Rates of illness are higher among populations subject to social and economic disadvantage. Yet, governments’ response to mental ill health is overwhelmingly focused on individuals and not on changing social conditions. The presenters are two of Australia’s leading researchers on public policy and social determinants of health. Dr Fisher will explain how social factors affect mental health, and examine what governments can do to promote mental health and support people with chronic mental illness. Dr Mackean will use concepts of cultural safety to show how governments can more effectively support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.