Mental health in Australia is starting to get the attention it deserves – but to make a difference, we must also refer to the facts.
Read on to discover the mental health statistics Australia needs to know in order to be better informed on how to identify, support and treat mental health issues.
It is estimated that 45 per cent of Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008)
This staggering statistic is also coupled with the estimate that in one year, 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.
Being tuned in to how you are feeling and practicing healthy mental and physical habits are all great ways to ensure you are actively taking time to reflect on your mindset. Recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and suicide is all valuable information for yourself, friends, loved ones and colleagues.
Around 90 per cent of employees think mental health is an important issue for businesses, but only 50 per cent believe their workplace is mentally healthy (State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia, TNS 2014)
Despite workplace mental health being an issue that requires greater attention, mental health statistics show that only half of Australians believe they are working in a supportive, healthy environment.
In order to close the gap between these statistics, employers must take an active role in workplace mental health management. Becoming better educated on mental health issues and how they impact workplace morale and productivity is the first step in creating change, along with putting together a workplace mental health plan to connect with and support the mental health of all employees.
Evidence suggests health professionals are at greater risk of experiencing anxiety, depression and suicide (Milner A.J., Maheen H., Bismark M.M. & Spittal M.J, 2016)
Between heavy workloads, long working hours, shift work, bullying, harassment and occupational violence, mental health statistics have shown health professionals to be at greater risk of experiencing mental health issues. These professionals include, but are not limited to doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and counsellors.
As with any workplace, a mental health plan is essential in order for Australia’s health professionals to be better supported with their own mental health. Revised workloads and hours of work to enable a greater work-life balance is also needed, along with providing professional resources for fellow professionals.
Depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses (Better Health VIC)
Alongside substance use disorder, depression and anxiety often occur in combination. For example, a person with depression may also develop anxiety, or a person with anxiety may rely on substances such as alcohol or other drugs in an effort to self-medicate.
Recognising the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety in both yourself and others is crucial in being able to seek the necessary treatment. Despite being the most common mental illnesses, these are both manageable with the right tools and resources.
54% of people with mental illness do not access any treatment (Black Dog Institute)
This is one of the mental health statistics worsened with delays in treatment due to problems in detection and diagnoses. With more than half of those with a mental illness not accessing treatment, be it due to cost, time, location or inability, we are placing ourselves at a greater risk of suffering.
Increasing the means of how mental health treatment is offered and accessed is just one of the ways we can ensure those who need support are being catered for. With the increase in technology, online therapy and mobile mental health units are just a few options of how we are already seeing a rise in accessibility.
Get mental health facts from fellow industry professionals and unite to celebrate 20 years of mental health education, awareness and advocacy.
Find out more at the upcoming 2020 International Mental Health Conference, held from 29-31 July at RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast.