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Alastair Campbell: The Politics of Mental Health

Why isn’t providing adequate mental health services a no brainer?

Half of all Australians will experience mental ill-health in their lifetime. The prevalence of mental illness in young people is on the rise. The World Health Organization confirms that depression will overtake heart disease as the number one cause of disease burden worldwide by 2030. Yet mental health receives only 2% of the global health care budget, and even in countries like Australia, awareness and rhetoric outstrip funding by miles.

Providing appropriate mental health services for people who need them should be the number one priority in health care, so why is it so hard for people with mental illness to get a fair deal?

With unique insight into the workings of government, and lived experience of mental illness, British journalist and political aide Alastair Campbell has become a leading advocate for action on mental health in the UK.

Until we can be as open about mental illness as we are about physical illness we can’t call ourselves advanced, civilised countries.

Alastair Campbell


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Photo credit: Prudence Upton

This talk was presented in partnership with Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health.

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