The stories of eight Australians affected by bipolar, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, anorexia, major depression and suicide will be broadcast across 155 communities, including Traralgon, from today.
Mental health charity SANE Australia is hoping to improve millions of Australians’ social connection and mental health outcomes when it launches its awareness campaign today.
The charity will encourage Australians to connect with each other on its online forums, an anonymous and moderated service available 24 hours a day.
SANE Australia chief executive Jack Heath said there were 690,000 Australians living with complex mental illness, with at least five people directly affected by their condition.
“We must do more to build a world where people affected by complex mental illness have stronger social connections and get the help they need,” Mr Heath said.
“We need to look for ways to reach people who are socially and geographically isolated and break down the barriers that prevent them from speaking up and seeking help.”
He said safe, online communities such as the SANE online forums could offer help to those who might not otherwise seek it, or be able to access it if living in rural or regional areas.
For more information or to access a forum, visit
www.saneforums.org or phone the helpline on 1800 18 7263.
Please note: the forums are peer-to-peer support services. They do not provide crisis support or counselling.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs urgent help call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or triple zero (000) in an emergency.