Survey looks at experience of mental health battlers

A new national survey aimed at understanding the life experiences of people living with severe and complex mental health issues is now live, with participants being sought.

‘Our turn to speak’, which is claimed to be the largest survey of its kind ever conducted in Australia, is being led by mental health charity Sane Australia’s Anne Deveson Research Centre in partnership with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and with the support of the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

Survey participants will be asked to share their experiences across a range of 14 different areas, including housing, employment, education, healthcare, insurance and finance. The survey findings will help to inform Sane’s advocacy priorities and contribute to policy change, as well as influencing resources and programs at a local, regional and national level.

Anne Deveson Research Centre Director and University of Melbourne Honorary Senior Fellow Dr Michelle Blanchard, says more than 690,000 Australians live with severe and complex mental health issues.

This research will examine the individual experiences, whether positive or negative, of people living with these issues.

“Data collected will be used to inform our future efforts as we work toward improved social outcomes and support for all Australians affected by complex mental health issues,” Dr Blanchard said.

University of Melbourne research lead Dr Christopher Groot, who also holds an appointment as Director of the Mental Illness Stigma Lab in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, says the survey will provide a unique opportunity for Australians living with severe and complex mental health issues to be heard.

“We’re calling for 7,000 people to take part in this comprehensive survey – online, over the phone, or in person – so we can gain a deep understanding of how people living with severe and complex mental health issues are treated in Australia,” he said.

Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Professor Glyn Davis says the collection of this information is vital.

To participate in the online survey visit: www.ourturntospeak.com.au 

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