How can we improve the health outcomes for Australians with a mental illness?
What’s the problem?
Improving the lives of people with mental health conditions to enable them to realise their full potential and live satisfying lives is a priority.
Unfortunately, people with mental health conditions do not always have positive experiences in relation to health care and other services. According to the ABS, over one-third (38%) of people with a mental health condition have difficulty accessing service providers, compared with 22% of people without a mental health condition. Some of the most common types of healthcare that could not be obtained by people with a mental health condition were: dental professionals; doctors/general practitioners; medical specialists.
Seven things you need to know
Mental illness is more prevalent than many people realise. Mental health problems are the third biggest health problem in Australia, after heart disease and cancer.
Depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability.
Rates of mental illness are highest for 18-24 year olds.
According to the Mindframe National Media Initiative, approximately 14% of Australians are affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12-month period.
About 3% of Australians are affected by psychotic illness (e.g. schizophrenia), experiencing episodes where they lose contact with reality.
Women are more likely than men to access services for mental health problems. Specifically, women are more likely than men to seek help for anxiety disorders (18% compared with 11%) and mood disorders (7.1% compared with 5.3%).
According to a national survey, approximately 35% of people with a mental disorder had used a health service and 29% had consulted a GP within the 12 months prior to the survey.