Anglicare SA

Do you find yourself pushing through the day without making time to take a break?

How often do you skip meals? Work late? Study all through the night with no sleep?

It’s surprising how many Australians push themselves to the limit, without realising the harm it has on their mental health and wellbeing.

This week is Mental Health Week – and it’s a kind reminder to us all that our mental health is just important as our physical health.

How big is the issue of mental illness in Australia? These five facts help show that it can affect anyone.

Mental ill-health is Australians’ most common illness, according to GPs

Australians are seeing their doctor to discuss mental health problems more than any other issue, according to a new 2018 report from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The survey of more than 1,500 doctors ranked mental disorders as the most common reason for a patient visit (62 per cent).

In 2015-16, there were just under 18 million mental health-related doctor visits – this is over 12 per cent of all GP encounters.

Source: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Almost one in every five Australians will experience a mental illness in a given year

Most recent updates from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimate four million Australians experienced a common mental disorder in 2015.

 The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorder.

Mental health problems and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability and poor health

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), mental and substance use disorders cause 23 per cent of all years lost due to disability.

As you can see from the below graph men between the ages of 30-69 are particularity likely to have their life expectancy lowered by substance abuse. The acronym DALY stands for: disability-adjusted life years.

Source: World Health Organisation

In 2013, world-renowned medical journal, The Lancet reported that mental health problems and substance abuse cause the most disability and poor health worldwide. Depression accounted for more than 40 per cent of disability.

Almost one in four young people meet the criteria for a probable serious mental illness (PSMI)

The latest Mission Australia and Black Dog Institute report on youth mental health shows the figure has increased from close to 19 per cent in 2012, to almost 23 per cent in 2016.

An even higher number (31 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents met the criteria for having a PSMI.

Source: Mission Australia

Three quarters of all lifetime mental health disorders emerge by age 24

It’s important that we engage in culturally and gender sensitive responses to support mental health of young people.

Our responses should consider structural issues that contribute to higher levels of distress for girls and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

As these five facts highlight, mental illness is one of the most pressing issues in our communities –it must be tackled together as a society to reduce discrimination, stigma and encourage people to seek support.

Mental health is commonly misunderstood as mental ill-health. But rather than illness it’s about wellness – feeling resilient, enjoying life and being able to connect with others.

Mental Health Week

At AnglicareSA, we’re passionate about mental health and wellbeing as a positive concept and increasing people’s ability to realise goals and potential, cope with the normal stresses of everyday life, work productively and contribute to society.

This week marks Mental Health Week with awareness activities being held throughout the week (October 7 to 14).

To find events happening near you during Mental Health Week, visit World Mental Health Day.

If you’re in South Australia you can also visit Mental Health Coalition of South Australia for more information on the week.

While we highlight our mental health this week, it’s important to remember to look after ourselves and those around us throughout the entire year.

For our latest updates on mental health and our other focus areas, follow us on the AnglicareSA Facebook page.

Navigating the NDIS can be an overwhelming experience for many people.

Our experience in supporting people with their pre-planning  has helped us to understand how to be as prepared as you can be for your planning meeting. Here at AnglicareSA we want the best for everyone transitioning into the scheme.

To assist you with the planning journey we’ve put together some ideas to help you get the most out of our planning meeting.

Getting Ready for Your Meeting

  • The NDIS is designed to give people a greater say about where and how they receive support. It’s also focussed on helping people to achieve goals that are important to them or will help to make life easier. Talk through your goals and dreams with family, friends or carers that know you best.
  • Be very clear about your needs and goals. NDIS is here for you so take full advantage of it by being very specific about your goals. Write all of these down and go over them again and again to make sure you include everything that’s important to you.
  • You should also think about where you live and who lives with you; your community and mainstream supports; your disability supports and your daily routines and activities.
  • You can download a “Getting ready for your planning conversation” checklist from the NDIS website to help you with this.

More Helpful Tips

The first planning meeting is a very important one. To make you’re planning meeting go smoothly get all of your paper work together beforehand.

Some examples of documents you may need, include information about your medical, education and health situation.

  • When the day arrives take someone with you to the planning meeting. It is an important meeting and you don’t have to go alone. Take people that know and support you like friends, family, advocates or your support workers. Whoever you choose to take to your planning meeting will help you with explaining your situation.
  • Our NDIS Customer Advocates can help you with pre-Planning and accompany you to the planning meeting. To find out more call our NDIS Customer Advocates on 1800 953 001.


An Action Plan has been collaboratively developed to implement a bold new target for the implementation of the Adelaide Zero Project, aimed at achieving Functional Zero homelessness in Adelaide’s CBD within two years.

More than 30 organisations have committed to the target, developed as part of a rapid design process over the past 90 days.

Yesterday politicians from all political parties signed on to support the target which aims to ensure that the number of people who are homeless in a city on any given night is no greater than the housing placement availability for that night.

AnglicareSA’s CEO, Peter Sandeman  says the 2020 commitment is significant step forward in our city’s quest to end rough sleeping.

“Collective action is the only way to approach Adelaide’s homelessness and housing challenges and it’s heartening to see the number of organisations signing up to the 2020 target,” says Peter.

The Adelaide Zero Project’s Implementation (Action) Plan includes:

    • Hutt Street Centre to run a Connections Week to confirm the names of all the people sleeping rough on any given night in Adelaide’s CBD.
    • Neami National to establish and maintain a ‘by name list’ of every person sleeping rough throughout the year.
    • Don Dunstan Foundation to develop an online Dashboard to track the number of people sleeping rough and those moved to secure housing.
    • Anglicare SA to develop an Aligned Housing Plan to ensure housing is prioritised for people on the ‘by name list’.
    • City of Adelaide to form a Business Alliance to End Homelessness.
    • End Homelessness SA to develop a Charter that can be signed on to by project partners, community organisations, businesses and individuals wanting to demonstrate their commitment to the Adelaide Zero Project.

AnglicareSA and Thread Together have launched an Australian first – mobile wardrobes delivering brand new clothes directly to people in need.

Working with the vulnerable, this joint initiative will support those in our community who need it most.

Thread Together works in conjunction with clothing manufacturers to receive and sort brand new, end-of-line clothes for distribution through its charity partners.

In collaboration, AnglicareSA and Thread Together will utilise purpose-fitted mobile wardrobes to bring brand new clothes to communities who need it most.

AnglicareSA CEO Peter Sandeman said new clothing made a huge difference in people’s lives, giving them back their dignity.

If you would like to donate to the Thread Together project, volunteer or just find out more, call AnglicareSA on 8305 9205 or email us at [email protected].

“New clothing, especially new clothing you choose for yourself, can be quite powerful,” said Mr Sandeman.

“It gives people the opportunity to reframe how they feel about themselves and how they present themselves to the world. We are delighted that with these two mobile wardrobes we can now get the clothing directly to those who need it most. It will make an enormous difference to the lives of so many children, young people, adults and families across our community who have been struggling.”

Thread Together CEO Greg Fisher said the partnership with AnglicareSA was an Australian first.

“Traditionally our clothing has been distributed via our charity partners and on-site Wardrobes and Outreach Centres,” said Mr Fisher.

“These mobile wardrobes will allow us to reach out into the community and go direct to the people who need it, no matter where they are. We are very excited to be working with AnglicareSA on this Australian-first initiative and see Adelaide as the first of what will be a roll-out of this service across Australia.”

The mobile wardrobes will commence work from March 6, initially delivering clothing to communities in the northern and southern Adelaide suburbs.

Thread Together collects excess boxes of clothing from fashion houses and sends them to their warehouse where they are sorted by volunteers.  Clothing is then distributed to charity partners across Australia as required.


In Australia an average of eight people take their own lives every day; that’s one every three hours.

Over the years countless organisations have been created to bring this too often overlooked issue into the light, but despite all the campaigns around suicide prevention staged in the past 20 years rates are continuing to rise.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day #WSPD2018, and this year’s theme is ‘Working Together to Prevent Suicide’.

In order to remind us of just how many Aussie families are touched by suicide each year we thought we’d compile a few startling facts that highlight the sheer scale of the issue.

In 2016, an average of 7.85 deaths by suicide in Australia each day 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in 2015 our suicide rate hit a 13-year high, when  3,027 Australians took their own lives.

In 2016 there was a small reduction in this number, however there were still 2,886 people who died by suicide.

These high numbers can be largely attributed to a rise in the suicide rate among middle-aged and young women.

Suicide rate rise

Men are three times more likely to take their own lives

Consistently over the past 10 years, the number of suicide deaths was approximately 3 times higher in males than females. According to Mindframe, 75% of people who died by suicide in 2016 were male.

While we’ve recently seen an increase in the suicide rate among women, males remain 300% more likely to take their own lives than females.

Suicide Rates

Indigenous suicide rates are between two and four times those of non-Indigenous Australians in the 15 and 44 age groups

For those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent in NSW, QLD, SA, WA and NT there were 162 deaths due to suicide (119 male, 43 female), which was the fifth most common cause of death.

While suicide is a big problem across our entire society, for Australia’s Aboriginal peoples, it’s at epidemic proportions.

As the esteemed suicide prevention researcher Gerry Georgatos recently wrote in The Guardian Australia the figures below may not even represent the full extent of the issue.

“Suicide accounts for more than 5% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths… In fact in my estimations, because of under-reporting issues, suicide accounts for 10% of indigenous deaths.”

Aboriginal Suicide Rates

According to hospital data, in the 2008-2009 financial year 62% of people who were hospitalised due to self-harm were female

Despite the fact that men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women, females account for more than 60% of hospitalisations from self-harm. And this is a phenomenon that is far from being exclusive to Australia.

According to UK based Psychology professor Daniel Freeman this discrepancy is largely due to the different means that the two genders use when attempting suicide.

Aus Inst of Health and Welfare

In 2016, suicide was the leading cause of death among all people 15-44 years of age

In 2016, suicide accounted for over one-third of deaths (35%) among people 15-24 years of age, and over a quarter of deaths (28%) among those 25-34 years of age.

According to the ABS, for those people 35-44 years of age, 16% of deaths were due to intentional self-harm.

The proportion of deaths due to suicide decreases in older age groups, as the likelihood of dying from natural causes of death increases.

There were decreases in rates and numbers across most states and territories in 2016 when compared to 2015

The biggest reduction in number was in Queensland, which has contributed to the overall decrease in the number/rate of Australian suicides in 2016. In South Australia the suicide rate decreased by 11 deaths.

Yet the story was all together different in 2014-15, when, with the exception of South Australia and Victoria, all states and territories saw their suicide rate rise.


To connect to a community event to mark World Suicide Prevention Day check out their official website.

If you’ve lost someone to suicide and are looking for support services please get in touch with our Living Beyond Suicide team on 1300 761 193.

For support regarding suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14.


Photography by:  Ryan McGuire