WITH one-in-five South Australians experiencing mental illness in any one year, the government is using Mental Health Week to remind people to treat their mental health with as much importance as their physical wellbeing.
Health and Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade said Mental Health Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the services, information and support available when we need help.
"It can be a lot easier for people to speak up when they are feeling physically ill or have a headache, but it can be much harder to tell someone when your mental health is suffering," he said.
"The government is committed to ensuring all South Australians have access to safe mental health care that protects and respects the rights of people who engage with services."
Events have been planned to mark Mental Health Week - and International Mental Health Day on Wednesday, October 10 - including events at Eudunda, Whyalla, Mount Barker and Mount Gambier.
The state government is expanding the SA Mental Health Commission to include Commissioners with lived experience as part of a plan to improve the governance of SA's mental health services.
The reformed Commission will be available to co-design plans and projects in partnership with Wellbeing SA, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, Local Health Networks and Primary Health Networks.
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SA's chief psychiatrist John Brayley said Mental Health Week encouraged the community to develop a better understanding of mental health and what actions they can take for themselves and others.
"This year's theme is 'Mind your health', and focuses on wellbeing, support and community," Dr Brayley said.
"People who have had personal experience of mental health problems have a key role in this week's activities, as they are expertly placed to educate the wider community about mental health.
"The evidence for the added benefits of getting early support or treatment is strong. It applies across a range of conditions, and to people across age ranges - children, young people, adults and older persons.
"While awareness has improved in the last decade, as a community we still need to overcome the barriers that have stopped us talking about mental health and have delayed people seeking support."