Help is there

I AM writing from the not-for-profit Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia to urge readers to be aware of a critical message. For anyone who has mental health issues, help is out there.

From Sunday, May 17 to Saturday, May 23, it is Schizophrenia Awareness Week.

We are highlighting that it is vital anyone who has mental health issues gets help� and help is out there.

We know that 40 per cent of people with severe mental illness in Australia (including schizophrenia) sadly receive no treatment at all and get no specialised support.

We know too that the medical facts are that the sooner people get support for mental illness including schizophrenia, the better the outcomes and recovery.

Family carers should never feel alone or feel that the caring is never ending.

Please call our free helpline, which has been specifically set up to assist people.

The number is 1800 985 944. You can also visit www.MiNetworks.org.au.

We have people on standby ready to offer advice as to where to go next � and where to get more help at one of our 180 locations across Australia

Schizophrenia is not well understood in our community. It�s a complex brain disorder that can be treated, yet many people still fear what they do not understand.

Up to 200,000 Australians have schizophrenia, which affects almost one million people in their families.

I simply ask readers to salute those who are passionately caring for people with mental illness and I urge people to get in touch if they need help and support.

DAVID MELDRUM,

executive director,

Mental Illness Fellowship

of Australia, Wayville, SA.