1 in 4

17 Nov 2021
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1 in 4

1 in 4 young Australians are diagnosed with a mental illness each year

Australian statistics on mental illness diagnoses are staggering with 1 in 5 adults experiencing a mental illness in the last 12 months. The number climbs when we talk about young Australians to 1 in 4. These statistics are significantly outdated (2007) and data from the National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing are being updated this year. The statistics are also likely to be conservative when compared to the World Health Organisation (WHO) who state that 1 in 3 adults are diagnosed with a Mental Illness each year.

1 in 4

Let’s put this into perspective. 1 in 4 young Australians are diagnosed with a mental illness each year. Take a moment to think about four or five of your closest friends or family members. See them in your mind. According to these statistics, in the next 12 months one of these people will be diagnosed with a Mental Illness.

This doesn’t count last year or the year before. This doesn’t count the people diagnosed next year.

What will you do to support your friends or family? How will you start the conversation?

You can learn by attending youth mental health first aid training. Learn more about it here or contact us to find out when we are running the training next near you.

1 in 4

Feeling awkward?

You wouldn’t be alone. Perhaps the reason these numbers are so high is because there’s a long lasting stigma around talking about mental health. It’s easier not to bring it because it is uncomfortable.

Every time we meet someone known or unknown there’s a verbal exchange: “Hi, How are you going?”. What if we started answering honestly? What if we acknowledged that happiness is one of many emotions instead of the only emotion?

Tips on how to start mental health conversations

  • Choose a good time. When you and the person you’re approaching has the time to chat
  • Be mindful of your surroundings. Some people won’t want to talk in front of their parents or some friends
  • Think about using an activity to break the ice. Go for a walk along the beach, drive in the car or start a game of Ping Pong
  • Listen carefully. Hear the facts and the feelings
  • Be prepared to hear bad news. Someone could be really struggling and you weren’t aware. Have some numbers ready to call like Lifeline
  • Encourage and normalise getting help
By jerem

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