Rotary Clubs throughout Australia, supported by The Australian Rotary Health Research Fund with, funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging have been holding Community Mental Health Forums to help de-stigmatise mental illness and create community awareness of what is a growing health issue throughout the country.
The Rotary Club of Windsor has arranged two such Forums, the first in April 2008 focused on Mood Disorders (such as depression and anxiety)and was attended by more than 260 people, eager to hear from speakers who suffered from a mental illness, carers who looked after people with such an illness and clinicians who atended to the needs of these people
The second forum was in September 2009 and aimed to raise the awareness of problems associated with drugs and alcohol in mental illness. This forum heard speakers who had either suffered a mental problem because of mental illness or became dependent on drugs an alcohol as a result of their illness. Other speakers included mental health practicioners with dual diagnosis experience (ie mental illness and drug and alcohol issues). A representative from Nova Employment also spoke about employment issues for people with mental illness. Again, with more than 120 attendees, this forum demonstrated the need for more such meetings.