Such significant progress has been made in breaking down the stigma associated with depression and anxiety that many people might think that the battle was won.
But about 700,000 Australians living with complex mental illnesses accidentally stayed away from the conversation.
Far from raising and realizing, on the verge of important discussions, there are those who struggle with such states as psychosis, personality disorder and bipolarity.
Anne Deveson Research Center founder Michel Blanchard said that a large cohort of people still suffer from discrimination – with often fatal consequences.
“People who live with complex mental illnesses are at a much greater risk of suicide,” said Dr. Blanchard.
"For example, people with borderline personality disorder who may be the most stigmatized mental illness are 45 times more likely to accept their own lives."
To present this in perspective, Australians with the most severe cases of depression die 20 times more often from suicide than the general population.
“The more complex the disease, the higher the risk of suicide,” she said.
This week, SANE Australia launched the Anne Deveson Research Center to focus on these challenging, poorly understood and rarely discussed conditions.
The first major project to be implemented will be a national stigma report, which examines the social consequences of stigma in areas such as employment, housing, justice, personal life and family relationships.
This is one of the first major investments in efforts to better understand difficult conditions.
“Most of the research around stigma has focused on more common disorders, such as depression and anxiety, so there is no evidence of complex diseases,” said Dr. Blanchard.
It is estimated that 690,000 people live with complex mental disorders, but they have overcome the gaps when it comes to understanding and awareness.
“Over the past 20 years, some fantastic work has been done to misinform those more common or common mental states,” she said.
“An unforeseen consequence of this activity is that more complex problems look too complicated or scary. Maybe there is a bit of a feeling that we have had this conversation for a long time, and, of course, there is no more stigma. ”
The reality is that there is a big part of the conversation that we missed, and Australia has a long way, she said.
People with complex mental illnesses have lower life expectancy, high suicide rates and are less likely to seek help.
“It’s also difficult for many to find employment, and Australia has one of the worst unemployment rates for people with mental illness in the world,” said Dr. Blanchard.
“On a personal level, stigma can make people feel lonely and isolated. Focusing on the social outcomes of stigma, along with the clinical elements of research, is so important and so important. ”
The findings of the report map, which will be based on a national study of people living with complex mental illnesses that will begin next year, will be used in the best direct services where they can have the maximum effect.
“But on a very simple but important level, he will also give voices to people who often do not take into account the conversation,” said Dr. Blanchard.
Ann Deveson, who was named after this center, has been a TV presenter, writer and media personality who has become a name in Australia since the 1950s.
Her son Jonathan fought schizophrenia, and after his death from a drug overdose in 1985, she became a tireless defender of the rights of people with mental illness.
Ms. Deveson co-founded SANE Australia and has become a voice for thousands of Australians telling stories about living with mental illness.
“She was one of the first high-profile Australians to tell her family’s story,” said Dr. Blanchard. "It was incredibly rare when someone like her was there telling her a story."
Her book Tell me I'm here about the illness and death of her son, as well as the consequences for her family, was a bestseller and won many awards.