Youth mental health in Australia
Almost half of all Australians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
Mental health is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.
Depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders are the most common types of mental illnesses experienced by young Australians. These often occur in combination.
Mission Australia’s 2017 Youth Mental Health Report found that one in five young people (15-19years) met the criteria for serious mental illness. Unfortunately, 54% of people suffering a mental disorder do not get treatment.
This report shows that the top three issues of personal concern amongst young Australians are:
- Coping with stress
- School or study problems
Mental illnesses most common among young Australians
- ADHD (7.4 %)1
- Anxiety disorders (6.9%)
- Major depressive disorder (2.8%)
- Conduct disorder (2.1%)
Facts about mental illness in Australia
The number of deaths by suicide in young Australians is the highest it has been in 10 years.
Suicide accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents and skin cancer.
Every day at least six Australians will die from suicide, and 30 more will attempt suicide. It is estimated that 65,300 people try to commit suicide each year.2
Mental Health is multilayered, and is determined by numerous factors. Substance abuse and mental health are often inter-related. While individuals turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism for deeper issues, the effects of drugs and alcohol can be detrimental to one’s mental wellbeing,
Getting treatment is key to recovery. 75% of people who receive treatment experience notable improvement3. It is important to break down the stigma of mental illness so that those impacted are not afraid to ask for help.
Read our summary of Mission Australia’s 2018 Youth Report to learn more about issues facing young people (15-19 years of age) in Australia today.
Where you can find help
For further support, contact:
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800
Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636
Family Drug Support: 1300 368 186 (24/7 crisis support)
How you can help
Early intervention is key. Our funded youth programs provide support for young people at a critical age. With the right support at the right time, young people have a better chance at breaking the cycle of issues like addiction and homelessness before it is too late. Click here to show your support and help save a young life today.
2National Mental Health Commission. (2013). A Contributing Life, the 2013 National Report Card on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. NMHC, Sydney.
3Department of Health and Ageing. (2013). National Mental Health Report 2013: tracking progress of