Statement from CEO, Dr Leanne Beagley
Today is World Mental Health Day, an international day of recognition led by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year, its theme encourages all of us to reflect on mental health as a universal human right.
The Australian Child Maltreatment Study indicates that more than 28% of Australians have experienced child sexual abuse and that “child maltreatment is associated with severe mental health problems and health risk behaviours both in childhood and adulthood.” Further to this, it found that victims and survivors of child maltreatment are almost five times more likely to attempt suicide and four times more likely to self-harm and that “emotional abuse, sexual abuse and multi-type maltreatment are strongly associated with mental health disorders.”
World Mental Health Day reminds us that experiencing sexual abuse in childhood is a risk to mental health and wellbeing at any age. This is why the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse stands with victims and survivors and the mental health community across Australia to promote mental wellbeing.
With a laser-sharp focus on child sexual abuse and its impacts across the lifetime, we seek to honour the lived expertise of all survivors of child sexual abuse, harnessing all ages, cultures, abilities and backgrounds. We commit to substantially addressing the harm of child sexual abuse, now and well into the future and recognise there are children and young people today who are experiencing sexual abuse. We dedicate ourselves to doing all we can to promote their effective protection and care.
We are #hereforchange.