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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23 Comments

  1. pagophilus
    11/10/2016

    There is no evidence that increasing acceptance of LGBTIQ+ and same-sex marriage will reduce mental health and suicide issues. Sweden is a case in point. Sweden is one of the most accepting countries in the world in these matters, yet suicide rates in the LGBTIQ+ population remains sky-high.
    In such a contentious issue, democracy MUST remain the number one priority. Bring on the plebiscite, or better still, a binding referendum.

    • Daniel Roitman
      11/10/2016

      You clearly have little understanding for the term ‘evidence’, for if you did you wouldn’t have used an anecdote from another to country as proof for a trend across the board. If an exposure is linked to an outcome, then less exposure means less outcome. Not zero outcome, but less outcome. Therefore, as we know that discrimination is linked to poor mental health among the LGBTIQ community, than less discrimination will lead to reduced poor mental health. Also, this article is not about eliminating poor mental health among the community, it specifically talks about the genuine risk such a public debate could pose to some of our nations most vulnerable. You have acknowledged that poor mental health is a real problem in the LGBTIQ community, do you not also acknowledge that public discrimination might perhaps be a major cause of this problem? Therefore, why would we want to contribute to it further?

      And if democracy were the number one priority, why then was the Marriage Act changed to exclude heterosexual couples WITHOUT a plebiscite. Were you similarly outraged then as well?

      • pagophilus
        11/10/2016

        Sorry, this is ideology-driven. It is ASSUMED that prejudice/discrimination is behind the poor mental health outcomes of LGBTIQ+ people, however evidence for that is lacking and the Swedish example shows otherwise.

        • Daniel Roitman
          12/10/2016

          And what do you believe is behind the poor mental health outcomes of LGBTIQ+ people?

          • Ronky
            12/10/2016

            We do know that it’s certainly not because of “discrimination” by third parties. Not just from “an anecdote from another to country” (sic) but from analysis of data from numerous countries where unfair discrimination or criticism has been virtually absent for many years. You and Mr Moore have jumped to this lazy conclusion because of ideology, not science.

          • Daniel Roitman
            12/10/2016

            See page 4: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/bw0258-lgbti-mental-health-and-suicide-2013-2nd-edition.pdf?sfvrsn=2

            Then again, what would BeyondBlue know, or the President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations for that matter. It’s not as though they are experts in the field. All these accusations of ideology, yet it is becoming clear that you have your own ideology. Or is there a valid reason why you placed quotation marks around the word ‘discrimination’?

          • Ronky
            13/10/2016

            I was quoting you. That’s what quotation marks mean. I guess you missed that day in primary school.

            Also it is not only grammatically incorrect, but extremely dishonest, to post a link to a political manifesto written by a notorious ideological warrior on behalf of an obviously political organisation called “The National LGBTI Alliance” and misrepresent who wrote it as if she had some authority or expertise in health. In fact according to AHPRA she is not even a member of any health profession at all.
            Also Mr Moore’s political association is an Australian one, not a “World” one.

          • Daniel Roitman
            17/10/2016

            1. Would you care to elaborate on that final sentence? I’m not sure if you are aware of the history of the Marriage Act.
            2. It seems as though the only “ideology” here is yours. By claiming that equality for all members of society is somehow an “ideology” can only be the claim of an individual invoking the political and/or religious ideology of a bygone era. I look forward to the day society remembers your kind as a relic to the infancy of our species.

          • Ronky
            28/10/2016

            1. I am well aware of the history of the Commonwealth Marriage Act. Your claim about it is just so absurd that it’s hard to further comment on it, but suffice to say that the Act has always recognised and supported the reality that a marriage necessarily involves a heterosexual couple. To exclude such a couple from the Marriage Act definition would be if anything an even more extreme denial of reality than the absurdity proposed by the author of this piece.
            2. Instead of empty slogans and ad hominem insults, perhaps you should try some acquaintance with the facts. I have no political or religious or any other ideology here and I fully support equality for all members of society with regard to marriage and every other right which our governments have recognised for centuries.

          • Daniel Roitman
            03/11/2016

            1. My point being, the parliament already altered the marriage act to specifically define it as “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others”. If a parliament can change it once, why not again. Why else elect leaders other than to tackle the complex nature of a civil society.
            2. Your complete refusal to engage with any evidence that doesn’t support your view is purely ideological. You have clearly determined the outcome before even investigating the evidence, a pretty basic form of confirmation bias.

          • Ronky
            03/11/2016

            1.a. You’re now claiming exactly the opposite to what you claimed up until now. If you want anyone to accept the truth of a story you’ve invented, you’ll have to at least make it consistent..
            b. As you know or should know, Parliament in 2001 explicitly clarified the Commonwealth Marriage Act (stating what everyone had always acknowledged marriage to be) at the behest of the leading gay-rights activist MP who solemnly declared to Parliament and the people that as far as he knows there is not even one person in the world who wants Governments to pretend that there is such a thing as so called “same sex marriage”. Now Turnbull and co. claim that not only is it possible, but that to point out the truth about marriage is to oppose “equality” and “human rights”! They think we have the memories of goldfish!
            Marriage and the family are the basic institution of human society and long pre-date the Commonwealth Marriage Act 1961 and in fact pre-date all governments and all other human institutions and organisations. Now to you maybe 1961 AD seems as long ago and supposedly irrelevant as a million BC, but the fact remains, neither ours nor any other government invented marriage and they have no power to re-define it. Though of course every government should recognise and support it.
            2. If you have any such evidence, I would be perfectly happy to consider it. I’ve never seen any yet.

          • Daniel Roitman
            04/11/2016

            Ronky, your point in 1.b just shows your true colours. It would take me quite too long to explain to you why such views are illogical and steeped in bias. Put simply, your claim that because something has been done for a long time means it is the way it should always be done is illogical. An ‘appeal to tradition’ is a fairly common form of logical fallacy.

          • Ronky
            04/11/2016

            Take as long as you, like, I’ve got all the time in the world to watch you make an even bigger fool of yourself trying to justify and “explain” your silly and unfounded slogans. There is nothing illogical or fallacious about pointing out that if something has been the basis of all human societies throughout history and even long before history, then it is impossible for the ruler of one country (or even if it were of all countries), dressed in a little brief authority, to claim to be able to redefine it to include its virtual opposite and so essentially destroy any real meaning of it. Turnbull no more has the power to redefine marriage than to redefine 2 plus 2 to equal 5.

          • AD
            03/11/2016

            Ronky. It’s time to just admit it. You’re a filthy homophobe.

          • Ronky
            03/11/2016

            Thanks for confirming that you have no rational argument to bring to the table, merely totally unfounded personal insults and abuse.

          • Daniel Roitman
            17/10/2016

            Do you have any “evidence” for this assertion?

      • Ronky
        11/10/2016

        It’s not just an “anecdote”, it’s hard DATA from Sweden, Netherlands, Canada and all other countries where even the mildest criticism of “LGTBI” has for many years been ruthlessly rooted out and heavily punished. People with sexual disorders have a higher rate of suicide, regardless of any external criticism or other external influences. This is a universally established fact with no contrary example ever found.

    • Ronky
      11/10/2016

      Democracy is an excellent thing, but it’s not an absolute. I suppose pretending that 51% of the voting-age population at any given time (ignoring the vastly superior silent majority of countless generations who have gone before us before this absurd idea was invented 15 years ago) are able to change the definition of marriage, is slightly better than pretending that a few dozen MPs are able to do so.
      I suppose it depends what question they actually ask. If asked at all it should be “Do you think that Malcolm Turnbull or anyone else has the power to redefine marriage?” but I suspect that instead the question will be full of the highly misleading and emotive weasel-words used in Mr Moore’s statement.

  2. Ronky
    11/10/2016

    Mr Moore should direct his attention to health rather than ideology.

  3. Gloria S.
    11/10/2016

    I can’t help but notice the subtle, and not so subtle homophobia in this comment section – George, Eric, Cory, is that you? Yes, I am comparing those of you hiding behind screennames and keyboards to the bigots in Parliament – why, because you deserve it. Using language like “sexual disorder” in a conversation about the LGBTIQ+ community is deplorable.

    Take your opinions somewhere they’ll be appreciated – like a Trump rally.

    • Ronky
      11/10/2016

      I should have placed a bet that the “h” and “b” words would start being hurled within 24 hours of the posting of any article mentioning sexual disorders (what on earth else should one call a disorder of the sexual kind??). And even Hillary’s latest term of abuse, the “d” word, signalling that this commenter has just come from one of her rallies.
      Instead of ad hominem insults (which I notice you are prone to regardless of the topic), try addressing the facts of the issue under discussion for once.

      • Gloria S.
        11/10/2016

        Sorry to break it to you – this commenter has not just come from a Hillary rally. This commenter is in fact just an actual decent human.

        • Ronky
          11/10/2016

          OK, I tried to help, but obviously ad hominem insults are all that you are capable of.

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