Change your attitude

THIS paper’s editorial (3/3) portrays the failure of Victoria’s mental health system over decades as embodied in the report of the royal commission, with “significant funding boosts and bureaucratic reforms” imperative to change “the cultural apathy” pervading the system.

More significantly, it highlights the report’s finding that the “human concepts of kindness, compassion, dignity and respect” are integral for achieving genuine reform.

While investing more dollars and restructuring are undoubtedly essential, these are far easier to implement than changing attitudes of some working in the system. If it is to be more humane, specialists should, as a matter of urgency too, examine their attitudes and behaviours, however unconscious their disrespect may be. They need to accept some responsibility for the broken system.

The report is a timely wake-up call not just for those employed with “a duty of care”, but for many across our social milieu who unwittingly stigmatise those with mental health issues out of ignorance, indifference and even fear.