The importance of mental health in our community

The provision of mental health services is constantly adapting to meet the requirements of those who need it. Since the onset of Covid-19 in early 2020, demand for mental health practitioners has never been greater.

8 Oct 2021

World Mental Health Day

In response to this, the Australian Government expanded its telehealth services to allow Australians the opportunity to seek help over the phone or via videoconferencing methods despite being restricted by consistent lockdowns. The government also announced additional funding for crisis lines, digital and online services, and support for healthcare professionals.

Although it didn't take a pandemic for St John of God Health Care to recognise the increased need for mental health services in the Casey/Cardinia region, it has helped to illustrate why the former Berwick hospital site was chosen as the location for its new mental health facility long before Covid hit. 

Set to open in mid-2022 the 60-bed mental health hospital will be a positive addition to the community, and an area of health care to complement the existing options available in the area.

Given mental health conditions are extremely common, with one in five (20 per cent) Australians aged 16-85 experiencing some form of mental illness each year, it's an area of health care that SJGHC is proud to be providing. Figures from the Black Dog Institute suggest that 75 per cent of people who access mental health inpatient care, improve remarkably - with early intervention being the key to providing immediate and long-term positive outcomes.

The statistics are similar for new parents with research revealing that one in five mothers of children aged two and under are being diagnosed with depression. It's not just mothers, however, men can also experience depression or anxiety during and following the birth of their baby - that number reflects one in 10 dads.

It's another area of mental health that isn't adequately serviced in Melbourne's south east at this time, and another area of demand that SJGHC is planning to meet with the introduction of a dedicated perinatal mental health wing in its new Langmore Centre facility. Issues associated with perinatal mental health are very treatable and SJGHC can rely on its long history of providing specialised mental health care to help those affected in our local area.

Research shows that people who maintain a high level of mental health generally experience increased learning, creativity and productivity. According to Beyond Blue, they also exhibit more pro-social behaviour and positive social relationships, with improved physical health and life expectancy. In contrast, mental health conditions can cause distress, impact on day-to-day functioning and relationships, and are associated with poor physical health and can contribute to premature death. With the right professional support and access to effective treatments, patients can expect to get the help they need to live a better life. SJGHC are proud to be opening the Langmore Centre and know the hospital team will be able to provide the very best care and support in the community.