HCF Fit and Well : HCF Health Agenda - January 2017
29 January 2017 | Health Agenda HEALTHY LIVING DEPRESSION IS A BIG PART OF THE HEALTH PICTURE IN AUSTRALIA AND EFFECTIVE TREATMENT ENCOMPASSES A NUMBER OF APPROACHES. Words Alix Clark / Gillian Samuel Blues therapies HIKRCN / FOTOLIA Mental illness is a largely silent problem, but the cost in health terms shouts loud enough: $200 billion a year -- the equivalent of about 12 per cent of the Australian economy's annual output. The most recent Herald-Lateral Economics Index of Australia's Wellbeing shows the drag effect caused by mental illness in 2016 is worth $40 billion more than it was a decade ago -- the reason, in part, for the Federal Government's moves to reform how mental health care is delivered nationally. Understanding the underlying causes of these costs is simple: one in five Australians suffers from depression, but 75 per cent do not seek treatment. The reasons are as varied as they are manifold: long-term unemployment or social isolation, a family history of depression, illness, drug and alcohol abuse -- even personality type. The list of typical symptoms is also long: alongside a depressed mood are irritability, changes in appetite, weight and sleep, reduced concentration, decreased pleasure and in some cases suicidal thoughts. For people who do seek treatment, therapy varies. "There are, generally, two treatments that work for depression," explains psychiatrist Professor Gavin Andrews of St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, "medications, like Prozac or Sertraline, and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) with a clinical psychologist."
HCF Health Agenda - Issue 02
HCF Health Agenda - April 2017