PUB HLTH 1001 Health and Illness in Populations
Assignment 2: Intervening to improve a health priority
Health Intervention to improve anxiety disorders in Australia
Anxiety disorders are a form of mental illness characterised by constant and uncontrollable worry and can make day to day tasks distressing and extremely difficult for one to cope with (1). There are a few different types of anxiety disorders and they all have different symptoms and effects on people. Not everyone experiences the same symptoms as another person does. Some of the more severe symptoms of anxiety are trembling, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, excessive perspiration, feeling cold or over heated, numbness or tingling in hands, palpitations or increased heart rate, chest pain, hyperventilation, etc. (2) Anxiety can also have a huge impact on an individual’s social life such as fear of leaving the house (social withdrawal), changes in personality, trouble in work or school, depression or suicidal thoughts, family or relationship issues and frequent emotional and physical health issues (3).
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent form of mental health problems in youth, affecting up to 16% of adolescents (4). A 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing a survey was conducted on the prevalence of anxiety disorders in the Australian population, and it was estimated that over 2.3 million Australian’s have had an anxiety disorder in the 12-months prior to the survey being conducted (5).
Beyond Blue is an association that provides support and information for people struggling or wanting to know more about various mental health issues. They aim to make the Australian public aware of mental health issues and encourage them to talk about issues like anxiety, depression and suicide (6). From 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, the beyondblue website received more than 8.51 million visits — an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year’s 7.4 million visits (7). Beyond Blue is an independent, not-for-profit organisation supported by the Federal Government and every State and Territory Government in Australia. Beyond Blue receives financial support, donations and in-kind support from numerous individuals, corporate and non-government organisations (8).
Beyond Blue could be argued as being all three of three levels on prevention primary, secondary and tertiary. Out of the 5 action areas in the Ottawa Charter, beyondblue falls into almost all of them. Developing Personal Skills is shown by educating people about depression and anxiety and raises awareness which allows for early intervention and prevention (9). Beyondblue has shown the action area Creating Supportive Environments as it’s main goals is to improve the individual’s environment by having easy access to health services. The Strengthening Community Action is evident in that fact that schools, local government, GPs and health services can work as a team to educate one anot...