A depressing and distressing report this morning from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. A survey of the mental health of young people shows that one in four Australians aged 16–24 years had a mental disorder in 2007. Yet while the bureau found that the prevalence of mental illness is relatively high in young people, they have a relatively low use of mental health services. Just under a quarter of young people with a mental disorder had used mental health services in the previous year. Young people with a severe level of impairment were more likely to use mental health services (51%) than those those with milder levels of impairment (18%). General practitioners were the service most frequently accessed by young people with a mental disorder (15%) followed by psychologists (10%).
It would be nice to think that the release of this survey would put mental health on the election agenda but somehow I doubt it. Not enough of the afflicted vote.