Mental health issues affect millions of Australians every year. Often sufferers find it difficult to share their struggles due to the stigma attached to mental illness. That is why it is important that Australians are aware of the mental health statistics in the country, so know that they aren’t alone in this.
- 45% of Australians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.
- Nearly 5 million Australians are affected by mental illness every year.
- 1 in 2 people between the ages of 16-85 experience mental illness each year.
- 75% of all mental health problems develop before the age of 25.
- More than 65,000 Australians attempt suicide each year.
- The average delay between onset and first treatment is 1-14 years.
- 3 million Australians live with depression or an anxiety disorder every day.
Effects of Mental Health Conditions
Indigenous Australians are more likely to experience mental health problems and substance abuse disorders 2.4 times more than non-Indigenous Australians. This is largely due to the devastating effects of colonization and the way that it has affected their lives.
1 in 12 individuals suffering from a mental health disorder has admitted to being suicidal. The figure is alarming considering 72% of people who exhibited suicidal tendencies had a 12-month mental disorder.
In fact, suicide is the leading cause of death for people aged 15-44, accounting for more deaths than car accidents and heart attacks combined.
Furthermore, there is high comorbidity recorded in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, which means that both have more than one mental health condition at once. The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing found that 3.2% of Australians between 16–85 had experienced more than one mental illness in the previous 12 months.
There’s no single cause of these problems, but there are some common factors that contribute to them:
- Lack of access to healthcare services.
- Lack of access to culturally appropriate healthcare services.
- Stigma surrounding mental illnesses.
- Lack of education about mental illnesses.
How to Treat Mental Health Problems
The Australian government spent about 7.6% of their total health expenditure on mental health-related services in 2017-18. That’s $9.9 billion or $400 per individual.
It is important to get help for your mental health as soon as you notice symptoms—not only will it help you feel better, but it can also prevent a relapse or other issues from developing. Here are some ways that Australians can treat mental health problems:
Get Professional Help
If you think that you need professional treatment for your mental health problem, there are several options available to you. You can choose between a specialised public or private hospital service, community mental health care services, or NGO mental health services.
You can also see a private or community psychiatrist or psychologist to help diagnose your condition and obtain treatment options based on their findings.
Find Support Groups
Some people may find that they benefit from attending support groups where they can discuss their experiences with others who have had similar experiences. These can be found both online and offline.