Almost two in five Australians aged between 16 and 24 have experienced a mental disorder within the past 12 months, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Source: The Guardian.
The National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, released yesterday, is based on the responses of nearly 16,000 Australians aged between 16 and 85. It assesses three groups of mental disorders: anxiety, affective and substance use disorders.
Mental disorders experienced at any point in life as well as those experienced within 12 months of completing the survey between December 2020 and October 2022 were measured using a World Health Organisation diagnostic tool.
The study found more than two out of every five Australians have experienced a mental disorder in their life. Anxiety disorders were the most common affecting 28.8 per cent, while 16 per cent had experienced an affective disorder such as a depressive episode, and 19.6 per cent a substance use disorder.
Ruth Vine, the deputy chief medical officer for mental health in the Department of Health and Aged Care, said the last time the survey was conducted in 2007 there was similar prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders among the general population.
But two cohorts who had significantly increased rates of mental disorders were young people and LGBTQI+ Australians.
Young people experienced the highest prevalence of disorder across all age groups, Dr Vine said. Of those aged 16 to 24, 38.8 per cent had experienced a mental disorder within the past 12 months. In the 2007 survey, 26.4 per cent of those aged 16 to 24 had experienced symptoms of a mental disorder in the past 12 months.
The study was conducted during the pandemic but was not designed to measure the impacts of COVID-19, Dr Vine said.
More than a third of young Australians experienced mental health disorder in past 12 months (By Natasha May, The Guardian)