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Media Release by Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens

Breaking the stigma of living with mental illness

Senator Ursula Stephens, today addressed mental health peak body, the Queensland Alliance, to launch a research paper into anti stigma initiatives in mental health.

Senator Stephens said the research paper, From Discrimination to Social Inclusion, is an important examination of what is working to improve the lives of people living with mental health issues.

“The review is of national significance and supported by more than 800 community organisations working in mental health Australia wide,” Senator Stephens said.

“I commend the Queensland Alliance and its member organisations for this research and the important work they do to help people with a mental illness in Australia.

“Mental health organisations undertake valuable work in contributing to the social inclusion of those Australians living with a mental illness so they have the chance to get back on track and can enjoy rich and rewarding lives.

“Addressing disadvantage among people living with mental illness is a key part of the Government’s social inclusion agenda, which is about ensuring all Australians live a life of potential and opportunity.

“The Australian Government wants to work with organisations like the Queensland Alliance through its social inclusion agenda to change attitudes to mental health and provide pathways to a full and fair life for all,” Senator Stephens said.

The Senator also spoke about the recently launched National Compact: working together.

She explained that the Compact sets out the way the not-for-profit sector and government want to work together for the benefit of the community as whole. This includes a respecting each other’s views, improving information-sharing and reducing red-tape so that sector organisations can focus more time and energy on helping the people they serve.

To find out more about the National Compact, go to www.nationalcompact.gov.au.