The Mental Health Community Coalition ACT (MHCC ACT) have joined over 30 organisations nationwide to call on the Australian Government to improve the living standards of people living with disability.
The Building Better Homes Campaign Coalition are urging the Government to support the inclusion of mandatory accessibility standards in the National Construction Code, when Building Ministers meet in March this year.
MHCC ACT urges mental health considerations to be an integral part of discussion, planning and implementation of housing design and initiatives in both the ACT and nationally.
“We need to focus more on the impacts of housing design and quality on people’s mental health and wellbeing” says Leith Felton-Taylor, acting CEO, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT.
Poor housing creates additional stress, anxiety and depression. Studies have shown the influence of pollution, noise and crowding on mental health, depression symptoms, and social wellbeing. Insufficient sunlight, for example, can aggravate depressive symptoms.
Leith Felton Taylor states, “Consideration needs to be given to the correlation between good quality house design and the occupant’s wellbeing. Stressful housing conditions can aggravate pre-existing mental illness.”
“For people with mental health issues, a well-designed house can enormously enhance their ability to live independently.”
Mandatory standards are required to ensure that the needs of all people with a disability, including psychosocial, are met. And the benefits are clear - they include more opportunity for people with psychosocial disability to live independent, productive lives, more choice to age at home, and improved support for people with chronic illness or injury.
To find out more about MHCC ACT’s position on mental health and housing design, visit: https://www.mhccact.org.au/advocacy
Media Contact: Leith Felton-Taylor, Acting Chief Executive Officer
(02) 5104 7715, Leith.Felton-Taylor@mhccact.org.au
Communications Officer: Alison Hall, (02) 5104 7711, Alison.Hall@mhccact.org.au
MHCC ACT is the peak body for community mental health services in the ACT.
Find out more about MHCC ACT at www.mhccact.org.au