Australia scores poorly on mental health report card

Richard Laycock 9 August 2017 NEWS

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Survey finds 39% of participants are living with depression.

The results are in and Australians are not in good mental health, according to recent research.

Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in surveyed 3,100 Australians about their mental health, finding that 39% were suffering from depression and 37% were displaying symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Worse still, of those exhibiting symptoms of a severe mental health illness, 90% were either not undergoing treatment or were as yet to receive treatment.

“Life is evidently much harder for many Australian adults than what it should be. Of all the problems in the world that are unsolvable, mental health is not one of them," said psychologist and founder of Vital Conversations, Peta Slocombe. Slocombe is also the creator of Australia’s Biggest Mental Health Check-in.

Those aged 18-24 had the highest incidence of anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance. Those aged from 45-54 were the least likely to be living with a mental health illness.

There was not much of a gender divide in the prevalence of depression. The study found that 49% of men and 51% of women suffered from depression.

“Our results reveal high variability in the traditional identification and management of people living with mental illnesses, and mount a strong argument for change, if we are to turn the tide on what has become the planet’s single biggest disease," Slocombe said.

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