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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"Mocking people with mental health issues and playing up horrifically outdated stereotypes is completely inappropriate, I simply can't believe that the makers of the exhibit and the Perth Royal Show would think this is acceptable,"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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Senate backs action on rural suicide, despite Nationals opposition

The Senate has called on the Government to fund targeted suicide prevention measures in rural and regional areas, backing a motion by Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health Senator Penny Wright.

However, the National Party voted against the motion - despite making an identical election promise last year.

Senator Wright said enthusiasm about the cross-party support for action on rural suicide, including a national awareness campaign, was tempered by the Nationals' surprising policy reversal.

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Addressing the Hidden Toll of suicide in rural Australia

I move that the Senate

1.      notes that a disproportionately high number of completed suicides and suicide attempts involve men in rural areas; and

2.      calls on the government to implement the key recommendations of The Hidden Toll: Suicide in Australia report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee during the term of the 44th Parliament of Australia, including:

a)      funding a national suicide prevention and awareness campaign, to run for at least five years; and

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Coalition budget likely to increase suicide and mental ill-health in young people

I table the document Budget 2014 Policy Briefing Papers from ConNetica, and I move that the Senate-

(a) notes the findings of the Connetica Budget 2014 Policy Briefing Papers which outline:

(i) the disproportionate burden the 2014 15 budget cuts will place on young people,

(ii) the potential for an increase in suicides and mental ill-health among young Australians as a result of harsh budget measures, including changes to Newstart, increases to university fees, cutting the Tools for your Trade program, and ending support programs like Youth Connections, and

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The impact of the budget on youth mental health

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (22:09):  On 13 May this year, the coalition government handed down a budget that was really quite unprecedented. I have seen quite a few budgets come and go in my life span, but I am hard pressed to think of a budget that has attracted such universal condemnation from people right across the political spectrum in terms of its unfathomable burden—the burden it places on some of the most disadvantaged people in the community.

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Put mental health support in schools

I move that the Senate

1.       notes

a.       the findings of the Youth Mental Health Report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute, which states 60 per cent of young people with a mental illness are not comfortable seeking information, advice or support from community agencies, online counselling or telephone hotlines

b.      the judgement of the High Court in Williams and The Commonwealth (no. 2), which found the Commonwealth's National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program to be unconstitutional

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Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Day

We move that the Senate :

1.       notes that:

a.       at any point in time, about 1.8% of the general population experiences Borderline Personality Disorder;

b.      the disorder can be characterised by overwhelming emotions, problems with relationships, impulsive and risk-taking behaviour and a fragile sense of self; and

c.       a history of trauma, abuse or deprivation is common among those with the disorder; and

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