While people believes that the key step in fighting cancer is early prevention for long-term survival, people with mental illness choose to remain silent due to how the society accepts this kind of health conditions.

Wesley Mission report, Keeping Well: Mental Health Is Everyone's Business, reveals that 1.6 million people in NSW alone are reluctant to seek any help from their doctors making their illness worsen.

Wesley Mission's CEO Keith Garner said the situation is driven by the attitude of the community towards these people who have the illness making it hard for them to admit that they are unwell.

Many sufferers, especially those under 25, do not seek early formal care, despite the fact that the sooner a sufferer acts, the more likely he or she is to recover, and recover quickly, Dr Garner said.

Wesley Mission has conducted a survey involving 2012 people over the age of 18. It has revealed that 77 percent of people in NSW are personally affected by someone who is mentally ill. A quarter of them have suffered from any form of mental health problem such as depression and anxiety.

The survey also verified the population's negative feelings when surrounded by people suffering from depression. Typical comments are as follows:

People who are depressed are dangerous and It's acceptable for someone with cancer to be unavailable at work because they are undergoing chemotherapy but not for someone with depression.

Executive director Ian Hickie from the Brain and Mind Research Institute said that mental illnesses usually begin at ages 15 to 25.

Seventy-five per cent of problems start in this age group but we don't typically see someone reporting mental health problems until they're around 40 and have had issues for 20 years, Professor Hickie said.

We, as a society, need to become more open to this issue because the numbers of people affected are enormous. Dr. Garner concluded.