Mental health issues in Australia, despite much effort and financial appropriations, continue to make up a major proportion of this nation's overall burden of disease. Governments of all persuasions and levels pour human and financial resources into an ever-increasing story of human despair, with little or no overall reward. Fighting the onslaught of mental illness has become a major industry in itself, something no society should rest easy with.
Australia may be a lucky country as we are want to say, but for many it is a place of great personal challenge and struggle. No matter how much we would want to externalise the problem of mental illness in our midst and wish it away, such an attitude only serves to give license to a worsening picture of social Australia, where too many fall by the wayside.
Instead of foisting our responsibility to care for those around us on to the medical profession and government, it is the place for each one of us to practice an open minded attitude to be non-judgemental and compassionate towards each other. To celebrate oneness, instead of endorsing the modern trend of the "cult of the self". Such an attitude has blossomed in recent years and not coincidentally so has the incidence of human struggle in this very fortunate nation in which we live.
It is time to challenge our own attitudes, to ask the reason of our prejudices, to be honest as to why we no longer commit so much of our time to the welfare of each other. It is this very question that rests at the nub of the tragedy around us as our busy lifestyles leave us time only for our own needs and our immediate kin.
Yes it's a bleak picture but a real one, an image of a society that has lost focus of the most important matter of all - the recognition that if the common good is not thriving then in a real sense none of us truly are.
Mental Illnesses are complex human conditions that have many contributing causes, not the least being our own innate personality, something we don't get to choose, and also the environment in which we spend our days. Each of us make up that environment, each of us therefore has to accept we are all responsible for the lives that environment produces.
We are all together in this country's joys achievements and prosperity, therefore we are also one in its discontent and struggles.
It really is time to own up, to lift the veil, to admit to our strife and to renew our commitment to one another. In the end nothing else can bring a sense of fulfilment, certainly not standing back and watching another succumb.