One in five Australians have a mental health condition, report says
A new report from the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) confirms the widespread nature of mental illness in Australia.
The Australia’s Health 2020 report, released last week, shows one in five Australians reported they had a mental or behavioural condition in 2017-18.
One of the data sources for the report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ National Health Survey 2017-18, shows that Victorian rates were similar to that of Australia: one in five people experienced mental and behavioural conditions.
In Victoria, more than one in 10 people had an anxiety-related condition and one in 10 people had depression or feelings of depression.
Females reported a higher proportion of mental or behavioural conditions than males. About 22 per cent of females reported a mental health condition, compared to 18 per cent of males.
Overall, respondents in the 15 to 24 age group reported the highest level of mental health conditions, with more than one-quarter (26 per cent) of this age group reporting having mental health issues.
Australia’s Health 2020 is based on the most recent national statistics on mental health gathered by the federal government during the year leading up to June 2018.
Organisers of the Australian Mental Health Prize say the statistics in Victoria highlight the importance of the prize to reduce stigma and recognise mental health workers.
“We expect the impact of COVID-19 will see a further increase in these figures, so it is more important than ever to publicly acknowledge mental health and those that work in the sector through the Australian Mental Health Prize,” AIHW advisory board member Professor Henry Brodaty said.
Now in its fifth year, the prize was established by the University of New South Wales through its School of Psychiatry and recognises Australians who have made outstanding contributions to the promotion of mental health or the prevention and treatment of mental illness.
“The mental health sector is an extremely important part of Australian society, and we want to hear about these unsung heroes so their contribution to mental health can be publicly recognised in the Australian Mental Health Prize,” Australian Mental Health Prize advisory group chair Ita Buttrose said.
To enter, nominees provide 200 words outlining the work being undertaken and how it is making an impact.
Nomination forms can be obtained from australianmentalhealthprize.org.au and nominations for the Australian Mental Health Prize close on August 30.