5 October 2023
More than two in five Australians (42.9 per cent) aged 16–85 years have experienced a mental disorder in their lifetime, with one in five Australians (21.5 per cent) experiencing a mental disorder in the previous 12 months, according to findings in the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on 5 October.
The study drew information from the nearly 16,000 Australians who participated; it offers a comprehensive view of mental health in the community across 2020–2022.
- Anxiety was the most common group of mental disorders in 2020–2022. More than one in six Australians (17.2 per cent) had an anxiety disorder such as social phobia or post-traumatic stress disorder in the previous 12 months.
- 7.5 per cent of people had an affective disorder such as depression, while 3.3 per cent had a substance use disorder.
- The data also showed that around 1.1 million (38.8 per cent) young adults aged 16–24 years experienced a mental disorder in the previous 12 months.
- Almost half of young females (45.5 per cent) and one third of young males (32.4 per cent) aged 16–24 years had a mental disorder in this period, with anxiety disorders being the most common.
- One of the more striking findings was that nearly three in five people (58.7 per cent) who identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, or who used a different term to describe their sexual orientation, had a mental disorder in the previous 12 months. One in five people (19.9 per cent) who identified as heterosexual had a mental disorder in the same period.
The study also gives insights into how people manage their mental health
The finding from the study noted:
- Nearly a quarter of all Australians aged 16–34 years (22.9 per cent) had at least one consultation with a health professional for their mental health in the last 12 months.
- 8.2 per cent of people in this age group also accessed other services for their mental health including treatment programs, crisis support, counselling, support groups and chat rooms.
- Almost half of all people who had a mental disorder in the previous 12 months (45.1 per cent) saw a health professional for their mental health and one in seven (14.3 per cent) accessed other services.
Explore the findings from the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing 2020-2022 on the ABS website.