No plebiscite, protect mental health: PHAA

This World Mental Health Day, it is vital we advocate for no plebiscite in a bid to protect good mental health for all, says Public Health Association of Australia CEO Michael Moore

World Mental Health Day is held each year on the 10th of October to raise awareness of mental health globally and advocate for ongoing efforts to improve the mental health of all people.

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is ‘Dignity in mental health: psychological and mental health first aid for all’.

“There is a significant risk that individual’s mental health will be impacted by the plebiscite and surrounding debate,” says Moore, who is also President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

This year the PHAA is calling on the Australian government to consider the mental health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex communities and pass same-sex marriage laws without the plebiscite, which is says could be damaging to mental health.

As part of the PHAA annual conference in September a resolution was passed without dissent opposing the Australian plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

Over 300 public health professionals called for the government to pass same-sex marriage laws without a costly and damaging plebiscite and funnel the funds into areas that will benefit the community such as preventative health or education.

A recent report by ACON highlighted the growing evidence relating to the impact of marriage equality and marriage denial on same-sex couples and the role of health organisations in supporting marriage equality as a public health strategy.

“World Mental Health Day is a reminder of the Governments’ duty to protect the mental health and wellbeing of the Australian population and actively contribute to this year’s theme of dignity in mental health,” says Moore.

To learn more about World Mental Health Day visit here.

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