October is Mental Health Awareness month

October is Mental Health Awareness month. So we thought we would share some facts about the mental health of Australians:

• Approximately 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness, and just under half of all Australians will experience a mental disorder in their lifetime.

• The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance use disorders.

• The onset of mental illness typically occurs around mid to late adolescence, and just under 1 in 4 young people met the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness.

• Just over half of all people who experience a mental illness will not seek professional help.

• The number of people with mental illness who access treatment is half that of people with physical illnesses.

• Experiencing a mental disorder increase the risk of having a physical illness such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and having a physical disease, increases the risk of experiencing a mental illness.

• Deaths by suicide have increased over the last 10 years. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged 25-44 years, and the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29-year-olds. Men are the most likely to die by suicide and the least likely to seek help. Indigenous Australians, our LGBTIQ+ community, and people living in remote and rural areas are also at-risk groups.

While mental illness is not a choice, recovery is. If you are struggling with your mental health, help is possible. You can see your General Practitioner (GP) or find a psychologist at https://www.psychology.org.au/Find-a-Psychologist

For more information on the mental health of Australians, see the Black Dog Institute, https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/get-involved/mental-health-month and the World Health Organisation, http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/

If you are feeling suicidal, contact Lifeline’s 24 hour crisis support service on 13 11 14, seek immediate help from a GP, or attend your local hospital ED.

- Nicole