Dave catches up with CEO of MHCT, Connie Digolis about World Health Day Friday 7 April as supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

This year the focus for the day across the world is Depression: Let’s Talk. The Mental Health Council of
Tasmania (MHCT) would like to congratulate WHO for acknowledging the need to tackle depression
on a global scale.
Despite the overwhelming number of awareness campaigns and programs around depression, it is
still an illness that is highly prevalent and debilitating for those who experience it. According to
beyondblue, in any given year 1 million Australians experience depression. In Tasmania, it is
estimated that around 60 000 adults experience mental ill-health each year.
CEO of MHCT, Connie Digolis, sees the need to emphasise that we now need to move beyond
awareness and break down the barriers of stigma around depression and all mental illness in the
Connie  tells Dave In Australia, the work of organisations such as Beyond Blue, SANE and the Black Dog institute hasmeant that we are beginning to talk more openly about depression and people experiencing
episodes of mental ill-health.
“Depression is still the second most prevalent illness after anxiety disorders within our community. It
can often have a big impact on the individual and their loved ones. Depression for some people can
impact their ability to work, engage with friends or family and it is a major risk factor for suicide. This
not only has an emotional cost on the population, but it has economic implications and stresses on
our workplaces, schools and especially on health services.”
“Depression is the leading cause of disability and ill-health worldwide. This World Health Day we
want people to not only think about the impact of depression in our community but what steps we
can take to prevent ill-health and support those experiencing depression.”
Some the practical steps of the we can take is looking at ways to make our workplaces, schools and
communities mentally healthy. It’s about adopting practices that reduce the cost and overall impact
that depression and other mental illnesses have on the individual, on loved ones and our community.


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