Mental health to the suburbs

Danielle Lees recieving a plaque for her presentation from Russell Higgenbotham.
Danielle Lees recieving a plaque for her presentation from Russell Higgenbotham.

BUSINESS owners and managers of 33,000 employees attended a Mental Health Forum at McLeod Golf Club, Riverhills, last week.

The forum was organised by Rotary Club of Jindalee under the auspices of Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, and opened with two speakers detailing life-changing experiences they had undergone.

One spoke about the effects of a suicide of a very close colleague and the other of her 16 years of living with Bi-Polar disease.

The forum concentrated on Mental Health in the workplace, with the keynote address given by Dr Danielle Lees (Chairman Psycare Corporate) who is a clinical and organisational psychologist.

Dr Lees led the audience through a discussion on what mental illness is and when it is a problem.

She discussed the signs which point to a positive mental health status in a workplace, then discussed the signs which point to mental health problems and finally through a discussion on medically diagnosable illness in Australia.

Dr Lees said 20 per cent of workers in Australian workplaces experience mental illness in any year and 25 per cent of these people experience more than one mental disorder.

Based on these figures, more than 3.2 million Australians had a mental disorder in the previous 12 months, and almost half of the Australian population will experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime.

Other statistics showed one in seven had an anxiety disorder, one in 20 had a mood disorder and one in 20 had a substance disorder.

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