Promoting community awareness of the link between illicit drugs and mental disorders

Anthony F Jorm and Dan I Lubman
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00775.x
Published online: 1 January 2007

Getting the message right will help the public reduce their risk of mental illness

In the 2006–07 budget, the Australian Government announced expenditure of $21.6 million over 4 years to improve community awareness of the link between using illicit drugs and the development of mental disorders. Community awareness programs to reduce the prevalence of unhealthy behaviours are nothing new; they have been around for decades for cancer, heart disease and infectious diseases. While campaigns focusing on the negative effects of drug misuse have already been delivered, this initiative breaks new ground. It will be the first large-scale campaign in Australia to tell the public what actions they can take to reduce their risk of developing mental disorders. Australia is not alone in this area, with both France and the United States launching campaigns in 2005 to alert the public to the potential link.1,2 However, it is too early to know whether these campaigns have had any effect.

  • Anthony F Jorm1
  • Dan I Lubman2

  • ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

Anthony Jorm is a member of the Expert Panel advising the Tasmanian Illicit Drugs and Mental Illness Awareness Campaign.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.