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Estimates: data and funding for eating disorders

Eating disorders

Senator WRIGHT: I will now come to the issue of eating disorders. I am interested to know what data the department has in relation to the prevalence of eating disorders in Australia in 2014 or recently.

Mr Booth: Again, I do not have that information on me. We would need to take that on notice and see who the appropriate organisation is that collects that type of data. We can certainly look into it and we would be happy to make that information available.

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Greens call for national campaign to tackle mental health stigma

The Federal Government should establish a national anti-stigma campaign to tackle ongoing misperceptions and discrimination around mental illness, say the Australian Greens.

Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright said Australia is one of the only English-speaking OECD countries without a national anti-stigma social inclusion campaign.

"It is time for the Federal Government to step up and get serious about tackling stigma in Australia," Senator Wright said.

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Country communities say Abbott Government failing on rural mental health

The Abbott Government's performance on rural mental health has been overwhelmingly condemned in a new survey of rural mental health workers, consumers and community activists.

The survey, conducted by Australian Greens spokesperson for mental health Senator Penny Wright, revealed widespread dissatisfaction with mental health services in rural and regional areas.

Only five per cent of respondents thought local services were enough to meet local needs and 97 per cent wanted government funding for rural and regional mental health increased.

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Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Week

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (15:43):  I, and also on behalf of Senator McLucas, move that the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) at any one point in time, between 1 and 4 per cent of the general population experiences Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD),

(ii) the disorder can be characterised by overwhelming emotions, relationship problems, impulsive and risk-taking behaviour and a fragile sense of self,

(iii) a history of trauma, abuse or deprivation is common among those with the disorder,

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WA Greens condemn offensive Royal Show exhibit

Western Australian Greens at the State and Federal level have condemned a Royal Perth Show exhibition which encourages participants to poke sticks at mental health patients and stigmatises people with mental health issues.

"Mocking people with mental health issues and playing up horrifically outdated stereotypes is completely inappropriate, I simply can't believe that the makers of the exhibit and the Perth Royal Show would think this is acceptable," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Recognising Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week

I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I will move that:

The Senate:

1. recognises September 1-7 as National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week; 

2. notes that in 2012 there were more than 913,000 people in Australia living with a clinical eating disorder, and more than 1,800 people die each year because of these deadly mental illnesses;

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Statement: Australian Greens on new chaplaincy program

The Australian Greens have urged state and territory governments to think twice before signing up to reinstate the schools chaplaincy program, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright confirmed the Australian Greens opposed plans to put religious chaplains in Australian schools.

"The Australian Greens have consistently said that the time for amateurs is over and funding must be redirected to putting professional mental health workers in schools," Senator Wright said.

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