PEOPLE with mental illness and their carers are among the most socially isolated people in the community, according to a new report.
It’s hoped the report, launched today by the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, will inform future policy on mental health services in Tasmania.
Mental Health Council Tasmania policy and research officer Elida Meadows said the report was an effort to discover the barriers to social inclusion experienced by people with mental illness and their carers.
Forty-two people with mental illness and 20 carers were interviewed during the 12-month study.
Ms Meadows said common factors that kept mental health consumers in isolation included symptoms of the person’s illness, the effects of medication, stigma surrounding mental illness, difficulties accessing transport and lack of secure accommodation.
“When we deinstitutionalised people with mental health issues the Government sector said (those people) would be supported in the community, but those supports aren’t really there, or they are there in a really fragmented way,” Ms Meadows said.
The report will be presented to the State Government to inform a review of the state’s mental health services due to start soon.