Media releases

Treatment rates for mental health conditions soar

17 Feb 2014

Beyond Blue has welcomed new research that shows the remarkable growth of treatment rates for mental health conditions in Australia in recent years.

The study by Professor Harvey Whiteford and colleagues found the treatment rate for mental disorders in Australia soared from 37% in 2006-07 to 46% in 2009-10, a growth the authors believe has not been seen anywhere else in the world.

Beyond Blue CEO Kate Carnell AO said the increase was due partly to the good work of mental health organisations such as Beyond Blue, highlighted by research that shows growing community awareness of the conditions and reduced stigma around them.

“The fact that more people are seeking treatment for mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety is wonderful news,” she said.

“Taking the first step to get support is often difficult but most people make a full recovery after doing so.

“The authors of this study found that Better Access, a Federal Government initiative that subsidises psychological services, has helped drive this increase but it is also due to better recognition and changing attitudes in the community.

“The Beyond Blue Depression Monitor shows that the community’s increased knowledge of the symptoms of depression is prompting people to get help.

“Self-awareness and recognising the problems was the prompt to get help for 16% of people in 2007 but increased to 28% in 2012.

“Stigma has reduced over the same period, with the number of people who thought people with depression are dangerous fell from 32% to 24%.

“Since 2012 we have launched Australia’s first national anxiety awareness campaign that helps people recognise anxiety’s signs and symptoms and that includes a short film starring Ben Mendelsohn that has been watched 227,000 times on YouTube.

“We have also launched Man Therapy, another first of its kind campaign that has attracted over 300,000 unique visitors to its website.

“Campaigns such as this let people know that these conditions are common, nothing to be ashamed of and that support is readily available.

“The more we work to get these messages into the community, the more we believe that treatment rates will continue to grow.”

For more information or for a copy of the Beyond Blue Depression Monitor, please contact the Beyond Blue media team.

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