The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) has teamed up with the Australian Catholic University (ACU) to survey Australians about mental health.
One in five adults (16-18 years old) will experience mental illness in any one year. But despite the everyday nature of mental illness, and the fact that effective treatments exist, many people are not getting the help they need - particularly country Australians.
Part of the problem is that country people may not know how to identify mental illness.
Another issue is the lack of health workers in rural and remote areas, graphically demonstrated in this issue's feature article: New Alliance analysis lays bare the extent of the mental health crisis in country Australia.
To look at the problem, and potential solutions, the RFDS wants to map Australia’s ‘Mental Health Literacy’ - which gives the survey its name.
Dr Lara Bishop at the RFDS and the ACU’s Professor John Gleeson want to know whether Australians have access to mental health services, how likely they are to use them, and how connected they are to their community - amongst many other questions.
Who can participate?
People across Australia – city or country - can take part in this survey as long as they are 18 years or over. Each participant has the chance of winning one of five $100 Coles/Myer gift cards.
The survey is online and should take about 15-20 minutes to complete. To find out more and to complete the survey go to: https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/news/mental-health-literacy-study/
Once the survey has been completed and submitted, participants will be sent a link to the e-mental health in practice website (eMHprac). eMHPrac is funded by the Australian Government and aims to raise health practitioner awareness and knowledge of digital mental health.
eMHprac also lists online services and resources aimed at improving mental health.
E-mental health allows Australians to access information and support via the internet, mobile devices, telephone or computers.
What are the benefits of the research project?
The survey will help identify how to help Australians better understand mental health conditions.
It will also assist to identify whether additional mental health services are needed, and where they are needed. This is important for the RFDS to better cater for mental health conditions.
What will happen to the results?
The RFDS and ACU researchers will have access to survey responses and will analyse the data.
No individuals will be personally identified. Data collected through the survey is non-identifiable.
Results and recommendations will be publicly released at the end of the year. The report will be posted here: https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/what-we-do/research/.
You can share the survey amongst your networks by posting the following link www.flyingdoctor.org.au/mentalhealthstudy/ on your social media channels, in newsletters or member updates.
The RFDS has also made a submission to the current Senate Inquiry into the accessibility and quality of mental health services in rural and remote Australia..
The Royal Flying Doctor Service is principal sponsor of the 15th National Rural Health Conference, 24-27 March 2019.