Top of page
Health

Study paints picture of mental health in Australia

Depressed man thinking

More than two in five (43.7 per cent) Australians aged 16-85 years have experienced a mental health issues in their lifetime, according to findings released on Saturday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Linda Fardell, head of health and disability statistics at the ABS, said the new National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing (the Study) paints a comprehensive picture of mental disorders in the community, and gives a snapshot of wellbeing.

“At the national level, the Study shows that 43.7 per cent (8.6 million) of Australians aged between 16 and 85 have experienced a mental disorder at some time in their life,” Ms Fardell said.

“In 2020-21, one in five people (21.4 per cent) experienced a mental disorder. Anxiety was the most common group of mental disorders; 16.8 per cent of all Australians had an anxiety disorder, 7.5 per cent had an affective disorder such as depression, while 3.3 per cent had a substance use disorder.”

The Study also shows that around 1.1 million (39.6 per cent) of young adults aged 16-24 years experienced a mental disorder in 2020-21.

“Almost half (46.6 per cent) of young females and one third (31.2 per cent) of young males aged 16-24 years had a mental disorder in 2020-21, with anxiety disorders being the most common type of disorder among young females and males,” Ms Fardell said.

The Study also gives insights into the actions people took to manage their mental health.

“Some 17.5 per cent (3.4 million) of Australians had at least one consultation with a health professional for their mental health in 2020-21. General practitioners were the most common type of health professional consulted,” Ms Fardell said.

“Of people with a mental disorder in 2020-21, almost half (47.1 per cent) had at least one consultation with a health professional for their mental health. In addition to these consultations, 4.4 per cent (or 864,100) of Australians accessed at least one digital service for their mental health, such as crisis support or counselling services and online treatment programs or tools.”

The ABS will publish results from the second cohort (2021-22) of the Study in 2023, as well as results from a combined sample. The ABS would like to thank participants for contributing to these important findings. More information is available for free download on the ABS website – https://www.abs.gov.au/.

You might also like

Kurt Fearnley Kurt Fearnley

Paralympian Kurt Fearnley appointed new chair of the NDIA Board

Australian Paralympic legend and disability advocate Kurt Fearnley AO has…

Coworker on wheelchair with photo editors in meeting room Coworker on wheelchair with photo editors in meeting room

Creating job opportunities for persons with disabilities in the visitor economy

The Albanese Labor Government will create more employment opportunities for…

Students and instructors enjoy sailing as part of the Winds of Joy program near Mackay. Students and instructors enjoy sailing as part of the Winds of Joy program near Mackay.

ASC funding helps students with disabilities set sail

The Foundation has begun its annual Northern Campaign from Sydney…

Businessman in wheelchair at the desk in his office Businessman in wheelchair at the desk in his office

Organization encourages care sector to employ more people with disabilities

With record unemployment and high demand in the Australian Labor…