News.com.au has launched a campaign to raise awareness about anxiety and highlight the true cost to employers, the community, families, and sufferers.
In their lifetimes, a staggering one-in-five Australians will experience anxiety in a way that has a disruptive impact on relationships or work.
Yet all too often sufferers feel their distress is misrepresented as simple worry or stress.
This focus on anxiety forms a second part of news.com.au’s mental health campaign Let’s Make Some Noise, a commitment to support Australians around good mental health.
Through news.com.au editorial and video content the Let’s Make Some Noise campaign will run throughout October aimed at increasing awareness about anxiety issues at home and at work, and looking at helpful resources and solutions.
The campaign will be supporting the work of Beyond Blue.
News.com.au editor-in-chief, Kate de Brito said: “Over the past decade we have made great leaps when it comes to understanding depression.
“We understand the gravity. We understand sufferers are not just down in the dumps or sad.
“But the same cannot be said for anxiety.”
She continued: “Last year we kicked off Let’s Make Some Noise with an awareness campaign about men’s suicide, the Silent Killer.
“This year we will focus on anxiety, the leading mental health problem in Australia.
“News.com.au has an audience of more than 9.4 million and we want to use this reach to advocate for good mental health outcomes for Australians.
“Throughout October we will be campaigning for change and better resources, telling personal stories to provide hope, context and helpful advice.”
Anxiety is now the most common mental illness in Australia and although some 2.5 million Australians battle a type of anxiety disorder, people still struggle to understand the severe and debilitating effects.
For some it is a lifelong battle, for others it is confined to a difficult period or life stage.
Whatever the cause, and whatever the type, anxiety is a significant public health issue in Australia in 2019.
The financial cost of mental illness to the economy is $60 billion a year, with business bearing up to $12 billion a year of that due to absenteeism and staff turnover.
While there is much to be done in terms of funding and support there are bright spots with eHealth shown to be an effective and economical method of treatment, support models in the workplace such as mental health first aid officers proving helpful, and a willingness of some employers to embrace a responsibility for their employees’ mental health.
The Let’s Make Some Noise campaign will include practical tips as well as links to resources and advice.