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The Forum > Article Comments > A parallel Australia - tackling mental health > Comments

A parallel Australia - tackling mental health : Comments

By Rob Moodie, published 24/10/2005

Rob Moodie suggests ways of combatting the increasing prevalence of mental health problems in Australia.

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It would be interesting to count the number of responses articles in these pages get from posters - it would be even more interesting to group them into types of responses ( pro, con, nuetral and lets not forget my favorite, rabid) - there ar other dissections that might be also of use.

What I find interesting is the lack of interest in some topics like this one. Wave a hijab in some ones face, or decry laws in response to terrorism, trivialise the threat of terrorism or the illusion of terrorism or throw up the issue of intelligent design, or IR changes - and you get an avalanche of responses.

We are pre occupied with the unlikely, the undemonstratable and the un legislated. We dont care about the Mentally Ill so we do not respond in any great numbers to these articles.

But show us the facts about a national scandal responsible for more deaths than has been the odd random bomber - and the over whelming resposne is ho hum.

It is our scorn for those mentally ill that is the problem - politicians are creatures of the community they serve; historically and contemporarily we just dont like the mentally ill; that is why we ignore their plight even when it stares s right between the eyes.

Our politicain prefer to chase the sexy issues of terorrists and the like; and spend exorbitant amounts of money on protecting us from the unlikely - while spneding didilee squat on a problem that will touch every single one of us more often and with effects as deveastating as the acts of a few extremists - but I suspect a large number of us like it that way.

I do not believe for a moment much will be done for the mentally ill- like so many things we almost tend to need them as it is only by comparison with those who are suffering that we feel alright ourselves.
Posted by sneekeepete, Monday, 24 October 2005 3:53:20 PM
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The way we treat the mentally ill is, of course, completely insane. As a society we are becoming more self righteous, more anxious and more angry. Compassion, reason and tolerance are fading fast and generally stigmatised as "elite" or "leftist" or "do-goodism". How can a society that is mentally ill itself be expected to deal sanely with the mentally ill?
We are all currently labouring under an anxiety neurosis, whipped along by our current government, because government's thrive in atmospheres of fear, just like abusive and controlling parents.
Posted by enaj, Monday, 24 October 2005 4:46:27 PM
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Rob

Thank you for your article. You raise many relevant, necessary and interesting points.

Even so, I was astounded that you suggest that perpetrators of rape should not be incarcerated on the grounds that these evil people might get depressed whilst they are imprisoned. So you have time for them, whilst I suffer chronic PTSD because of the bashing and rape by two strangers?

Thanks to the previous two posters
Cheers
Kay
Posted by kalweb, Monday, 24 October 2005 7:19:04 PM
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Dear Kalweb
Please dont interpret the idea that violence or agression on the part of men to women also leads to poor health in men, as in any way excusing the actions of violent men.

A recent study released in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health showed that the more men oppressed women the higher are menís mortality rates. In other words being nice, or at least not being nasty or violent, is in menís enlightened self interest.
Posted by RobM, Tuesday, 25 October 2005 6:28:17 PM
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Give me a ride on your time-machine Moodie. I want to be somewhere where I too can see them "really debating the issues". I want to see, "parliamentarians turned puce with passion in their speeches, the part where, 'they didnít hurl insults at each other - just to put each other down'.

I want the introduction of a 'progressive tax system and a sustainable social-economic development policy', yesterday! (i.e., See the potentially innovative policy frameworks evolving on employment civic community policies - pre-1977, (before this last wave of economic recessions.)

Sing me the songs of a parallel world where "Discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, body shape, age and social class is consistently" stomped out!

Where, vibrancy and productivity, cross-cultural harmony and where contact with community members enhances different ethnic, racial and cultural groups who work, learn and play together in mutually respectful and equal ways. (see www.miacat.com)

I hope that one day we, in this local regional society will work out 'the big picture (equality, productivity, respect) as well as ensuring individuals have better skills and an understanding of how to cope' with strain and stress and, to promote our own self-determination!

I even hope that we get to work out sooner than later, (by intuition and then by verifiable, replicable suggestible studies) that treating each other well, has a lot more than being "good sense from a perspective of well-being through "mental and physical health, safety and productivity" across all sectors, for all peoples, in our greater world society.

Give me a ride on your time-machine Moodie, a world where our vision is based on invaluable foresight.
Posted by miacat, Wednesday, 26 October 2005 10:14:46 PM
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See; I told you know one cares. Several days in and all the articles on the features have drawn a mere handful of responses.

If you could find a way to blame Islamists for mental illness then - maybe - you might incite some interest

THe mental health of asylum seekers only gets a run because there are so many people incensed that they are even here. And even then the reposne of the government is half hearted and tokenistic - a dominant theme in response to their plight goes something like - well they were't invited so they deserve what they get.

Other posters ( well at least one ) feels no sympathy or responsibiltiy for the depressed who might "top" themselves due do their weak will and lack of spine.

Even within the helping professions there is a contempt - too often I have seen health professionals scorn the mentally ill because the expression of their illness departs from the normal subjective signs of pain/nausea/physical discomfort - no one ignores the cardiac patient with a sense of impending doom, severe chest pain and shortness of breath - but they sure do ignore or feel unable to cope with some ones illnes if it is expressed by way of self harm, responding to delusions or hallucinations, gives rise to personal abuse or rowdy conduct;

Even those engaged in the business will see clients only on their terms - establish empty and meaningless contracts - and ignore those who fall outside of their self defined target group.

This is an uncaring community, self centred and pre possesed; the mentally ill dont stand a chance.
Posted by sneekeepete, Thursday, 27 October 2005 10:13:47 AM
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