Mental Illness Forum draws much community support

Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Paterson, Don McDonald AM, Event organiser Kate Washington, Local Member for Port Stephens. Image by Square Shoe Photography
Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Paterson, Don McDonald AM, Event organiser Kate Washington, Local Member for Port Stephens. Image by Square Shoe Photography

 

MENTAL Illness is common and serious with approximately 560,000 people in Australia receiving a Mental Health Care Plan at some stage during their lives.

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World leading Professor Helen Christensen and Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert delivered incredible insight into the research of mental illness and schizophrenia at the Lifting The Lid On Mental Illness forum.

Professor Helen Christensen presented current research in mental illness, particularly, depression, anxiety and self-harm.

The audience listened to the frightening statistics in regards to young people, with one in four experiencing a mental illness and 65 percent not seeking help.

Websites and mobile apps were recommended by the Professor.

SPARX, a unique, award-winning computer program helps young people learn skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.

SHUTi, an innovative, online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy program has been designed for those suffering insomnia.

iBobbly, a trial of the world’s first suicide prevention app, was designed especially for use by indigenous people on mobile phones or tablet devices.

Professor Cyndi Shannon Weickert focussed on schizophrenia and shared that researchers have now learnt that for some schizophrenia sufferers, there is a minute inflammation in one of the molecules in our brains.

Historically, researchers had broken down the molecules as far as they thought they could, but new research has proven the molecules can be broken down two times more and this is where the inflammation is taking place for some people.

Meryl Swanson MP, Member for Paterson, said, “Congratulations to Don and his team, it is wonderful to see so many people come and listen to cutting edge research by such prestigious Professors.”

Event organiser Don McDonald told News Of The Area, “I am thrilled by the attendance, it makes me confident for the future.”

“Local people are concerned about local residents, and one day we will put faith into scientists and will have a cure.”

Lifeline 13 11 14.

 

By Mandy ELLIS

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