NTMHC Supports the Voice and Better Mental Health for all Australians
The Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition unequivocally supports enshrining a Voice to Parliament. A YES vote provides our nation with a new and rare opportunity to move forward towards meaningful change and better mental health and wellbeing for all Australians. By providing a national platform for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to speak on matters affecting them, changes can be made that are appropriate and relevant to their people and their communities.
As the peak body representing community mental health in the Territory, we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are often over-represented in mental health statistics. An estimated 31% of First Nations peoples aged over 18 report high or very high levels of psychological distress. The suicide rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is twice that of the non-Indigenous population, and suicide occurs at much younger ages.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are twice as likely to be hospitalised for mental illness.
The NT has a higher proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (30%) and a more widely dispersed and isolated population where delivering services is complex and costly.
Being given a Voice will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to speak to these complex needs and to help in leading decisions that directly affect them. This is crucial to mental health and wellbeing.
The Coalition, including our directors, management, and staff, unequivocally support a YES vote in the upcoming referendum.
Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition
NTMHC is the peak body for community managed mental health services across the Northern Territory. We work in collaboration with a wide network of organisations, people with lived experience, their families and supporters across the NT to advocate to improve the mental health and wellbeing of Territorians.
Please include the following crisis support services for any story regarding mental health or suicide:
More information on safely reporting on mental illness or suicide can be found at: https://mindframe.org.au/
CEO Northern Territory Mental Health Coalition