The Issue

One in five (20%) Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.Stigma can have a devastating impact on the lives of people with mental illness and their families, friends and carers. It’s still one of the greatest barriers to people seeking help and recovery.

 Our Communities

Mental illness impacts all Australians. No family, workplace or community is unaffected.It is estimated that one in five Australians will experience a mental illness in any year and one in two Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime 2. But only around 35 per cent of affected Australians actively access services for mental health problems. Make a difference in your community…. Be supportive and help.

Our Schools and Young People

Mental health is the single biggest issue facing young Australians. Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-24 . 3  More than 75% of all severe mental illnesses occur prior to the age of 25.  A major barrier to seeking help is stigma and being afraid of what other people might think.  Our Kids Get Growing program  is a peer supported,  in-school program that helps kids support each other through their issues.

Our Workplaces

It is estimated that the overall cost of unmanaged or mismanaged mental health in the Australian workplace is approximately $11billion a year.4 More than 6 million working days are lost per year as a result of one mental illness alone. For every $1 invested in mental health initiatives, there’s an average return on investment (ROI) of $2.30. And only around 35 per cent of affected Australians actively access services for mental health problems.

People with a mental illness want the same basic things as everyone else:

  • A home – somewhere decent to live
  • A job or something meaningful to do – a reason to get up in the morning
  • A life worth living – friends and loved ones to share with
  • Hope

5 simple ways you can make a difference

  • Be a friend – be there, for the ordinary and extraordinary moments
  • Be brave – don’t tolerate stigma and discrimination
  • Be open – share your experiences
  • Be informed – know the truths and dispel the myths
  • Be good to yourself – recognise the need to look after your own mental wellbeing

Odd Socks Day…because anyone can have an odd day, is a light-hearted approach to reminding people that anyone, at any time, can have an odd day.

Register an event (link), be a crusader and donate to help Grow (link homepage) continue the fight against stigma through its proven, peer support programs.


1: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009). National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 4326.0, 2007. ABS: Canberra.
2: Transforming Australia’s Mental Health Services Incorporated)
3: ABS (2015), Causes of Death, Australia 2013 (cat. no. 3303.0)
4: PwC (2014). Creating a mentally healthy workplace – Return on investment analysis