Who are we?
Prevention United is a new national charity with big ambitions.
We're different. Unlike other mental health organisations in Australia, we have an exclusive focus on promoting mental wellbeing and preventing mental health conditions – across the entire spectrum of conditions.
What do we do?
We prevent mental health conditions.
There is now good scientific evidence to suggest that these conditions are not inevitable and they can be prevented using the same approaches we use to prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancers. While we don’t yet know how to prevent every condition among every person, we know enough to make big in-roads while we continue to conduct research to develop more and better ways to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental health conditions.
How do we do it?
Our mission is to join forces with individuals, families, organisations and communities to prevent mental health conditions by fostering strengths and reducing risks.
Our three core streams of activity include Awareness and Advocacy, Research and Innovation, and Programs and Partnerships. At Prevention United we will:
- Raise awareness about the importance and benefits of promoting good mental health and preventing mental health conditions, and the ways this can be achieved;
- Advocate for greater investment in prevention and for the social and public health policies needed to promote mental health and prevent mental health conditions;
- Support multi-disciplinary research to better understand the causes of mental health conditions and to trial and evaluate new prevention initiatives;
- Work with others to turn research evidence into information resources and programs and services that support individuals, families, organisations and communities to promote good mental health and prevent mental health conditions; and
- Partner with individuals and organisations from various disciplines and sectors to create a robust promotion and prevention system in Australia that complements our mental healthcare system.
Where do we do it?
Everywhere Australia-wide – online, at home, in classrooms, workplaces, local communities and health services - prevention happens everywhere and at any time.
What is our goal?
We have our eyes set on a time in the not-too-distant future when mental health conditions are much less common.
By 2050 we aim to prevent 1 million mental health conditions in Australia. At present nearly 1 in 2 Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. We believe this rate is unacceptably high and something must be done, starting now.
Ultimately, we envision a world free of mental health conditions. That might sound like a fanciful statement but, even if preventing every single mental health condition turns out to be impossible, we believe it’s still worth a shot.
Why do we do it?
Mental health conditions are common, distressing, potentially disabling and contribute to premature death from suicide.
It is estimated that almost half of us will be affected by a mental health condition at some point in our lives and in any given year 1 in 5 Australians are living with a mental health condition.
There a many different types of mental health condition – depression, anxiety disorders, behavioural disorders, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and others. They affect people of all ages and all backgrounds.
The impact of these conditions on people’s lives can be profound. Mental health conditions cause distress and put individuals at risk of negative outcomes such as school dropout, unemployment, troubled relationships, substance misuse, poor physical health and premature death.
We believe that assisting people affected by a mental health condition is extremely important and more needs to be done to ensure that people have access to high-quality supports and services where and when they need them.
However, we also believe that this is not enough. We also need to tackle the root causes of these conditions to prevent them from developing in the first place.
In almost every other area of health we recognise the need to focus on prevention as well as treatment yet when it comes to mental health conditions we wait until people become unwell before we take any action.
It is time for a new approach. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Please note: Prevention United is a mental health promotion organisation that specialises in the promotion of mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental health conditions. We do not provide medical, psychological or other treatment for mental health conditions. If you, or someone you know is experiencing a mental health condition and would like treatment or help, please contact your local general practitioner or access the headtohealth website to find a mental health service in your State or Territory. Alternatively you can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the beyondblue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. If you, or someone you know, need urgent assistance, dial 000 to contact emergency services in your State or Territory.