The Guardian • Issue #2075


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2075

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows almost 40 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds reported experiencing a mental health disorder within the past two years, this is up from 26 per cent in 2007. The ABS study, conducted between 2020 and 2022 and surveying over 16,000 Australians aged 16 to 85, found two in five young women and one in four young men suffered from an anxiety-related disorder.

For the first time, the ABS survey included questions related to gender identity and sexual orientation. People who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual had nearly three times the rate of mental health disorders at 58.7 per cent compared to their heterosexual counterparts at 19.9 per cent. One in three transgender people reported a mental health disorder over a 12-month span compared with one in five cisgender people.

The results also showed a significant uptick (45.1 per cent) of those with a mental health condition seeking treatment and support from a health professional, up from 12 per cent in 2007. Despite an increase in those seeking mental health support, funding, staffing, and service delivery has not kept pace with demand, with mental health experts and mental health nurses describing the mental health system “as not coping.”

Calls have been renewed for state and federal governments to improve targeted funding for mental health services, and for the implementation of transparent and enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios in mental health settings.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: is P Dutton and No.

Basically a policy of genocide has been followed. There was the shooting and poisoning of the Aboriginal people by the colonial occupiers, the forcing of the Indigenous people onto reserves when ‘protection’ was the slogan of the times. The Aboriginal people refused to ‘die out’ as was intended and the policy of “protection” was replaced by assimilation, the idea being that Australia’s First People could be absorbed into the white community and be eliminated that way. Assimilation involved the destruction of Indigenous culture and, of course, the abandonment by them of any claims to their traditional lands. This policy did not work for the ruling class either, although it was accompanied by the destruction of many Aboriginal families and communities by the deliberate and conscious seizure of their children. All of these policies were based on the central idea that the Aboriginal people should be eliminated as a people. It was genocide. There is no other word for it.

Has this objective changed? No, it has not! That is why nothing effective has been done to recognise land rights or alter the basic health and housing conditions of the Indigenous people, or to provide education, jobs, and hope. Unemployment, lack of medical facilities, shocking housing, and of course the racist sentencing laws, all of which come together under the descriptor institutionalised racism.

What is needed is “recognition” – recognition of Aboriginal rights as a national minority in Australia, and above all their right to land. Dutton stands against any such recognition, and for assimilation.

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