Statistics

beyondblue uses statistics from trusted references and research.

Statistics have been categorised in alphabetical order below, click the relevant category for the statistic you're looking for:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Message: Latest evidence suggests Indigenous Australians are at least twice as likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous Australians.

Breakdown: Indigenous Australians were two times more likely to die by suicide than non-indigenous Australians in 2015, with a rate of 25.5 per 100,000 Indigenous Australians dying by suicide that year compared to 12.5 per 100,000 non-Indigenous people.1 Due to data quality issues, this data refers only to New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Message: Indigenous Australians are nearly three times more likely to be psychologically distressed than non-Indigenous Australians.

Breakdown: Almost one third (29.4%) of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders experience high to very high levels of psychological distress, indicative of a probable mental health condition, compared to one in nine non-Indigenous Australians (10.8%).2This means they are 2.7 times more likely to experience high to very high levels of psychological distress than non-Indigenous Australians.

Message: Remoteness is a contributing factor to the mental health of Indigenous Australians.

Breakdown: Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders in non-remote areas are far more likely to experience high to very high levels of psychological distress, indicative of a probable mental health condition, than those in remote areas. Around one in four (22.8%) in remote areas experience high to very high levels of psychological distress compared to 31.2% in non-remote areas.3

References

1. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (2016). Preliminary data. Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians Table 12.1

2.4727.0.55.001 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13 (2013). Table 1.3 Psychological distress based on K5 (Kessler) and reflects them scoring in the high or very high range

3. 4727.0.55.001 - Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey: First Results, Australia, 2012-13 (2013) Table 1.3

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities

Message: There is a need for more conclusive prevalence data.

Breakdown: The last known prevalence rates can be drawn from Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) 2008 analysis of a large national survey, which found that respondents born overseas recorded lower prevalence of some mental disorders, in comparison to respondents born in Australia.1 However more recent research contradicts this and indicates that people from CALD backgrounds are at an increased risk of developing mental health conditions.2

Message: There is a need for increased funding for CALD early intervention mental health services.

Research from both Australia and overseas has consistently highlighted that immigrant and refugee populations are at higher risk of severe mental illness, and tend to have higher rates of diagnosis of psychosis upon presenting at acute inpatient units, than the general population. CALD consumers also tend to access mental health services through clinical emergency services at a severe, or crisis, stage of their condition, which drastically diminishes recovery prospects.3

Message: People from CALD backgrounds require culturally-suitable supports and interventions.

Research conducted within the Queensland Transcultural Mental Health centre found that due to stress and trauma related to leaving their country of origin and resettlement, migrants from Asia and North Africa were at greater risk of types of mental health conditions. Support and clinical interventions need to therefore be delivered in a culturally sensitive way to address the trauma related to such circumstances for these communities. 4

Message: The specific mental health risks for asylum seekers and refugees must become a priority for multicultural intervention approaches.

Breakdown: For Tamil Asylum seekers and Vietnamese refugees, rates of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at least three to four times more likely than the general population, while refugees and asylum seekers are at greater risk to self-harm behaviours and suicide.5

Message: It is important to recognise and address the specific mental health risk factors posed by discrimination.

Breakdown: A study of 1,139 people from CALD backgrounds living in Australia, found that higher incidences of racial discrimination were associated with poorer mental health. Also, strategies which look to prevent occurrences of discrimination were found to be more effective in reducing mental and emotional distress for minorities, than interventions which focus on CALD community responses to discrimination.6

Message: Other social factors which contribute to poorer mental health in migrant communities must be addressed.

Breakdown: Other research through MHIMA outlined several other mental health risk factors, which create barriers for CALD populations to participate in areas of Australian society. These include language barriers, loss of family ties, cultural adjustment difficulties, and inability to use knowledge and occupational skills which lead to difficulty in gaining meaningful employment. 7

References

1.Australian Bureau of Statistics. National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, cat. no. 4326.0. Canberra: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008.

2. Minas H, et al. Mental Health Research and Evaluation in Multicultural Australia: Developing a Culture of Inclusion 2013 p 13

3. The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA). Mental Health and Australia’s Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities: A Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs, 2011

4. Khawaja N, McCarthy R, Vivienne B, Dunne M P. Characteristics of culturally and Linguistically Diverse Mental Health Clients 2013

5. Minas H, et al. Mental Health Research and Evaluation in Multicultural Australia: Developing a Culture of Inclusion 2013 p 13

6. Ferdinand A, Paradies Y, Kelaher M. Mental Health Impacts of Racial Discrimination in Australian Culturally and Linguistically Divers Communities: A cross-sectional study 2015 p 12

7. Minas H, et al. Mental Health Research and Evaluation in Multicultural Australia: Developing a Culture of Inclusion 2013 p 8

Children/Youth

Message: Half of all lifelong mental health problems begin before the age of 14. 1

Message: Suicide continues to be the biggest killer of young Australians. 2

Message: Over 75% of mental health problems occur before the age of 25. 3

Message: One in seven young people aged 4 to 17 years experience a mental health condition in any given year.

13.9% of children and young people (aged 4 to 17 years) met the criteria for a diagnosis of a mental disorder in the last 12 months.4

Message: One in ten young people aged 12-17 years old will self-harm, one in 13 will seriously consider a suicide attempt, and one in 40 will attempt suicide. 5

6.9% of children and young people (aged 4 to 17 years) had suffered from an anxiety disorder in the past 12 months 6

Message: Young people are less likely than any other age group to seek professional help.

Only 31% of young women and 13% of young men with mental health problems had sought any professional help.7

Message: Major depressive disorders are more common in young people than children.

The prevalence of major depressive disorder is higher in young people (12 to 17 years) than children (4 to 11 years) – 5% compared to 1.1%.8

Message: Almost one-fifth of all young people aged 11 to 17 years experience high or very high levels of psychological distress.

19.9% of all young people (11 to 17 years) had high or very high levels of psychological distress in the previous 12 months, however for females aged 16 to 17 years and young people with major depressive disorder, this was significantly higher (36.2% and 80.7% respectively).9

Message: One in ten young people aged 12 to 17 years have engaged in self-harm.

About three quarters of these adolescents themselves in the previous 12 months.10

Message: Suicide is responsible for one-third of all deaths of young people aged 14-25 years.

Suicide rates among young people are at the highest they’ve been for over a decade, and now account for around one-third of all deaths in those aged 15 to 24.11

Message: The rate of suicide among Indigenous young people is significantly higher than among non-Indigenous young people.

The number of Indigenous young people that die by suicide is higher than the number of non-Indigenous young people. This number of Indigenous young people taking their own life is also increasing.12

Message: Deaths of children (5 to 14 years) by suicide are rare.

Based on 5 year aggregate scores from 2009 to 2013, age-standardised suicide rates were low in both males and females (both 0.5 per 100,000 respectively).13

References

1. Kessler, RD et al. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62: p. 593-602.

2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Catalogue No. 3303.0.Canberra: ABS. Accessed 2 March 2015 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0?OpenDocument

3. Kessler, RD et al. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62: p. 593-602.

4. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health.

5. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health.

6. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health.

7. Slade T, Johnston A, Teesson M, Whiteford H, Burgess P, Pirkis J, et al. (2009) The Mental Health of Australians 2: Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health and Ageing.

8. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health.

9. Commissioner for Children and Young People WA. (2015). Our Children Can’t Wait – Review of the implementation of recommendations of the 2011 Report of the Inquiry into the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in WA, Perth: Commissioner for Children and Young People.

10. Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR. (2015). The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Canberra: Department of Health.

11. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Catalogue No. 3303.0.Canberra: ABS. Accessed 2 March 2015 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0?OpenDocument

12. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Catalogue No. 3303.0.Canberra: ABS. Accessed 2 March 2015 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0?OpenDocument

13. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Catalogue No. 3303.0.Canberra: ABS. Accessed 2 March 2015 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0?OpenDocument

LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex people^)

Message: LGBTI Australians are far more likely to be psychologically distressed than non-LGBTI Australians.

Breakdown: One study of 3,835 LGBTI Australians found that they scored considerably higher than the national average on the K10 scale, with a score of 19.6 versus 14.5. 1

Message: One in five LGB Australians is currently experiencing depression, which is more than triple the rate of heterosexual Australians.

Breakdown: 19.2% of homosexual/bisexual Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder in the last 12 months.* This is more than triple the rate of heterosexual Australians (6.0%) aged 16 to 85. The research featured only homosexual/bisexual and heterosexual categories and it is unclear how or if transgender and intersex people responded. 2

Message: One in three LGB Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition, which is more than double the rate of heterosexual Australians.

Breakdown: 31.5% of homosexual/bisexual Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months.** This is more than double the rate of heterosexual Australians (14.1%) aged 16 to 85. The research featured only homosexual/bisexual and heterosexual categories and it is unclear how or if transgender and intersex people responded.  3

Message: There is some evidence that, within the LGBT community, people identifying as transgender have the highest levels of psychological distress.

Breakdown: The above-mentioned K10 score of 19.6 included a mean score for transgender males of 23.2 and transgender females of 23.2. This compares to a mean score for bisexual women of 21.8, a mean score for bisexual men of 20.5, a mean score for lesbian women of 19 and a mean score for gay men of 18.8. 4

Message: LGBTI people are far more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual people.

Breakdown:  LGBT people are between 3.5 and 14 times more likely to try and die by suicide as their heterosexual peers. 5

Message: One in six young LGBTI people has attempted suicide and one third have harmed themselves.

Breakdown: 16% of LGBTI Australians aged between 16 and 27 have attempted suicide and 33% have self-harmed. 6

Note: There is relatively little data about the mental health of intersex people in Australia. However a small study in 2009 found intersex adults are markedly psychologically distressed, with rates of suicidal tendencies and self-harming behaviour on a level comparable to women in the community with a history of physical or sexual abuse.7 The National LGBTI Health Alliance has also stated that overseas research and anecdotal evidence in Australia indicate that intersex adults have rates of suicidal tendencies and self-harming behaviour well above those of the general population.8 With this lack of Australian data in mind, none of the information above features unique intersex statistics. However beyondblue suspects the level of psychological distress experienced by the intersex community may be higher than the LGBT community because of the additional discrimination and challenges around identity that they face.

^ A lesbian is a woman whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards another woman. Gay is a term mostly used to describe men whose primary emotional and sexual attraction is towards other men. However, it can be used to describe both men and women who are attracted towards people of the same sex. Bisexual refers to a person who is emotional and/or sexually attracted to people of more than one gender identity. Transgender (or sometimes trans or trans*) is an umbrella term used to describe a person whose gender identity or gender expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned at birth. Not all people who identify as transgender undergo medical procedures to change their bodies. Intersex is a general term used to describe a set of conditions where a person is born with reproductive organs or sex chromosomes that don’t fit with typical definitions of male or female.

* An affective disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: depressive episode, dysthymia and bipolar affective disorder.

** An anxiety disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

References

1. Private Lives 2, The second national survey of the health and wellbeing of GLBT Australians 2012 p VII

2. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results 2007 p 32

3. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results 2007 p 32

4. Private Lives 2, The second national survey of the health and wellbeing of GLBT Australians 2012 p 36

5. Suicide Prevention Australia Position Statement, Suicide and self-harm among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender communities 2009 p 6

6. Robinson, KH, Bansel, P, Denson, N, Ovenden, G & Davies, C 2014, Growing Up Queer:

Issues Facing Young Australians Who Are Gender Variant and Sexuality Diverse, Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne p V

7. Schutzmann, K. et al (2009) Psychological distress, self-harming behaviour, and suicidal tendencies in adults with disorders of sex development p 1

8. Rosenstreich, G. (2013) LGBTI People Mental Health and Suicide. Revised 2nd Edition. National LGBTI Health Alliance. Sydney p 3

General statistics

Message: One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime.

Breakdown: 15.0% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder1* This is equivalent to 2.83 million people today. ^

Message: One quarter of Australians will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.

Breakdown: 26.3% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder.2** This is equivalent to 4.96 million people today.

Message: One in 16 Australians is currently experiencing depression.

Breakdown: 6.2% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder in the last 12 months.3 This is equivalent to 1.16 million people today.

Message: One in seven Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition.

Breakdown: 14.4% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months.4 This is equivalent to 2.71 million people today.

Message: One in six Australians is currently experiencing depression or anxiety or both.

Breakdown: 17.0% of Australians aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety and/or affective disorder in the past 12 months.This is equivalent to 3.2 million people today. Note: the percentage of Australians who have lifetime experience of anxiety and/or an affective disorder is unknown.

Message: Support-seeking appears to be growing at a rapid rate, with around half of all people with a condition now getting treatment.

Breakdown: The estimated population treatment rate for mental disorders in Australia increased from 37% in 2006–07 to 46% in 2009–10.6

Message: Females are more likely than males to experience depression and anxiety.

One in six females will experience depression in their lifetime compared to one in eight men. One in three females will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime compared to one in five men

Breakdown: 17.8% of females aged 16 to 85 will experience an affective disorder in their lifetime compared to 12.2% of men. 32.0% of females aged 16 to 85 will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime compared to 20.4% of men.7

One in 14 females is currently experiencing depression compared with one in 19 men. One in six females is currently experiencing an anxiety condition compared to one in nine men.

Breakdown: 7.1% of females aged 16 to 85 experienced an affective disorder in the last 12 months compared to 5.3% of men. 17.9% of females aged 16 to 85 experienced an anxiety disorder in the last 12 months compared to 10.8% of men.8

Message: One in nine Australians is currently experiencing high or very high psychological distress.

Breakdown: In 2014-15, around one in nine (11.7%) Australians aged 18 years and over experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress, indicative of a probable mental health condition. This was equivalent to 2.1 million people at the time. Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, rates of high or very high psychological distress remained stable across most age groups, with the exception of 18-24 year old women (up from 13.0% to 20.0% respectively).9

* An affective disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: depressive episode, dysthymia and bipolar affective disorder.

** An anxiety disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

^ This figure, and all current population figures in this section, has been calculated by extrapolating the current Australian 16-85 year-old population from 3101.0 ABS Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2016. The population figure, which is 18,868,720, has then been multiplied by the rate in ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008)

References

1. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

2. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

3. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 28

4. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 28

5. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 41

6. Whiteford, H. A., Buckingham, W. J., Harris, M. G., Burgess, P. M., Pirkis, J. E., Barendregt, J. J., & Hall, W. D. (2014).  Estimating treatment rates for mental disorders in Australia. Australian Health Review38, 80–85

7. ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

8.ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 28

9. ABS Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15

Men

Message: Men are at least three times more likely to die by suicide than women.

Breakdown: In the period 2010-2016, males were three times more likely to die by suicide than females.  In 2016, 2,151 (75%) people who died by suicide were male and 715 (25%) were female. 2

Message: Every day in Australia,  almost six men die by suicide.

Breakdown: The  2151 male suicides in Australia in 2016 is the equivalent of  5.9 every day.

Message: The number of men who die by suicide in Australia is nearly three times the number who die in all types of road accidents combined.

Breakdown: 867 males died in transport accidents in Australia in 2015 3 which is 37% of the 2,292 who died by suicide.

Message: Death by suicide among Australian males is equivalent to more than 77,581 years of potential life lost.

Breakdown: Men lost 77,581 years of potential life because they died prematurely by suicide in.4

Message: Evidence indicates men are far less likely to seek help for mental health conditions than women.

Breakdown: The 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing study found that in the previous year, only 27.5% of males with a mental disorder and recent symptoms had accessed services for their mental health problems compared with 40.7% of females.Estimating treatment rates for mental disorders in Australia, Whiteford et al (2014) indicated that treatment rates had increased significantly in recent years but did not provide a gender breakdown.

Message: One in eight Australian men will experience depression in their lifetime.

Breakdown: 12.2% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder over their lifetime.* This is equivalent to at least 1.15 million males today.^

Message: One in five Australian men will experience an anxiety condition in their lifetime.

Breakdown: 20.4% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder over their liftime.7** This is equivalent to at least 1.93 million males today.

Message: One in seven Australian men experiences depression or anxiety or both in any year.

Breakdown: 13.3% of Australian men aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety and/or affective disorder in the past 12 months.8 This is equivalent to at least 1.26 million Australian men today. Note: the percentage of Australians who have lifetime experience of anxiety and/or an affective disorder is unknown.

Message: Men are less likely than females to experience depression and/or anxiety.

Breakdown: 12.2% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder in their lifetime compared to 17.8% of females. 20.4% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an anxiety disorder in their lifetime compared to 32% of females.9

Message: Men are less likely than females to be currently experiencing depression and/or anxiety.

Breakdown: 5.3% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder in the last 12 months compared to 7.1% of females. 10.8% of Australian males aged 16 to 85 have experienced an affective disorder in the past 12 months compared to 17.9% of females.10

* An affective disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: depressive episode, dysthymia and bipolar affective disorder.

^ This figure, and all current population figures in this section, has been calculated by extrapolating the current Australian male 16-85 year-old population from 3101.0 ABS Australian Demographic Statistics as of 30 June 2016. The population figure, which is 9,484,939, has then been multiplied by the rate in ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008)

** An anxiety disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

References

1. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1

2. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1

3. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (2016) Road Trauma Australia 2015 statistical summary.

4. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2015 (2016). Preliminary data. Underlying causes of death (Australia)

5. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 44

6. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

7. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

8. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 41

9. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 27

10. 4326.0 ABS National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007 (2008), p 28

Older Adults

Message: 10-15% of older adults experience depression, and approximately 10 percent experience anxiety.  1

Message: Rates of depression among people living in residential care are much higher, at around 30 percent.  2

Message: People over the age of 65 hold more stigmatising views about depression that the rest of the population. 3

Message: Age discrimination can negatively impact upon older peoples’ mental health.

25% of people in Australia over the age of 50 have experienced some form of age discrimination and 60% of those stated that it had affected their self-esteem or mental health and/or caused them stress. Women are more likely than men to report that discrimination impacts upon their mental health. 4

Message: Age discrimination can affect mature age workers’ ability to remain in the workforce, jeopardising their financial security and independence.

One third (33%) of people who had been discriminated against gave up looking for work as a result of experiencing age discrimination.5

Message: Older women retire with much lower superannuation balances than men.

89% of women are worried about maintaining their standard of living in retirement.6

Message: Involuntary or unexpected job loss in later life is the form of retirement that has been most consistently linked to increased rates of depression.7

References

1. National Ageing Research Institute. (2009). beyondblue depression in older age: a scoping study. Final Report. Melbourne: National Ageing Research Institute.

2. National Ageing Research Institute. (2009). beyondblue depression in older age: a scoping study. Final Report. Melbourne: National Ageing Research Institute.

3. beyondblue Depression and Anxiety Monitor, 2014 (for internal use only, not for distribution)

4. Australian Human Rights Commission. (2015). National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace

5. Australian Human Rights Commission. (2015). National prevalence survey of age discrimination in the workplace

6. Westpac Women and Retirement Readiness Report. (2015). Accessed 20 January 2016 http://www.mediagame.tv/retirement-tips-for-australian-women-westpac-women-and-retirement-readiness-report/

7. Olesen, S & Butterworth, P. (2012). Retirement: a trigger for distress or welcome relief form the rat race?

Perinatal

Message: A low mood is common for birth mothers following childbirth.

Breakdown: Low mood affects around 50% of new mothers in the first weeks after delivery (so-called baby blues), but this is usually mild and transient.1

Message: 1 in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy.

Australian research indicates up to 1 in 10 women will experience depression during pregnancy (antenatal depression).2 Antenatal anxiety is thought to be just as common.

Message: 1 in 7 women will experience postnatal depression.

Australian research indicates that the rates of depression rise to 1 in 7 women in the year following the birth of their baby (postnatal depression). Postnatal anxiety is thought to be as common as postnatal depression.3

Message: 1 in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression.

Research indicates that 1 in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression.4 Anxiety conditions are likely to be at least as common.5 Paternal depression has also been found to show a moderate positive correlation with maternal depression.6

Message: Awareness that men can experience postnatal depression is low.

45% of fathers are not aware that men can experience postnatal depression as well as women; and 43% of first time fathers see anxiety and depression after having a baby as a sign of weakness.7

References

1. Howard LM, Molyneaux E, Dennis CL, Rochat T, Stein A, Milgrom J. (2014). Non-psychotic mental disorders in the perinatal period. The Lancet, 21;384(9956):1775-88.

2. Buist A, Bilszta J, Milgrom J, Condon J, Speelman C, Hayes B, Barnett B, Ellwood D. (2006). The beyondblue National Postnatal Depression Program, Prevention and Early Intervention 2001–2005, Final Report. Volume 1: National Screening Program. Melbourne: beyondblue-The National Depression Initiative.

3. Buist A, Bilszta J, Milgrom J, Condon J, Speelman C, Hayes B, Barnett B, Ellwood D. (2006). The beyondblue National Postnatal Depression Program, Prevention and Early Intervention 2001–2005, Final Report. Volume 1: National Screening Program. Melbourne: beyondblue-The National Depression Initiative.

4. Paulson JF, Bazemore SD. (2010), Prenatal and postpartum depression in fathers and its association with maternal depression: a meta-analysis. Jama. May 19;303(19):1961-9.

5. Matthey, S. et al, (2003). Diagnosing postpartum depression in mothers and fathers: whatever happened to anxiety? Journal of Affective Disorders, 74, 139-147.

6. Paulson JF, Bazemore SD. (2010), Prenatal and postpartum depression in fathers and its association with maternal depression: a meta-analysis. Jama. May 19;303(19):1961-9.

7. beyondblue Healthy Dads? The challenge of being a new father, 2015.

Regional and rural Australia

Message: Remoteness is a major risk factor contributing to suicide and the likelihood that someone will die by suicide appears to increase the further away from a city they live.

Breakdown: Data from 2010-2014 shows that, out of five zones of residence, residents of Major cities had the lowest rate of suicide deaths per 100,000 people while residents of the Very remote zone had the highest rate every year1. During this period Major cities had a suicide rate of 9.8 per 100,000 people, residents in inner regional areas had a rate of 13.0, outer regional residents had a rate of 14.3, and remote residents had a rate of 19.1 per 100,000.2

Message: Young people who live outside capital cities appear to be particularly at risk of suicide.

Breakdown: Young people outside capital cities are significantly more at risk of dying by suicide than their peers in capital cities. In 2010, 5.9 per 100,000 15-19 year-olds in capital cities died by suicide compared to 10.3 per 100,000 outside capitals. The same year, the suicide rate was 9.0 per 100,000 for 20-24 year-olds in capital cities compared to 16.5 for their peers outside capitals. 3

Message: People in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia face more barriers to accessing health care than people living in major cities, making it harder for them to maintain good mental health.

Breakdown: In 2013-14, 28.5% of people in outer regional, remote or very remote areas of Australia waited longer than they felt acceptable to get an appointment with a GP, compared to 21.5% in major cities. People in outer regional, remote or very remote areas were less likely to be seen by a GP within four hours the last time that they needed urgent care (60.6% compared to 67%) and more likely to delay seeing a GP because of cost (6% compared to 4.3%).4

References

1. See http://www.atlasesaustralia.com.au/ahpc/remoteness_graph/deaths-suicides.html

2. See http://www.atlasesaustralia.com.au/ahpc/remoteness_graph/deaths-suicides.html

3. 3309.0 ABS Suicides, Australia, 2010 (2012). Suicide and Geography, Australia, 2001-2010. Table 4.3

4. 4839.0 ABS Patient Experiences in Australia: Summary of Findings, 2013-14 (2014) Table 6.2

Suicide and self-harm

Message: Suicide is a major public health issue that kills more than 3,000 Australians in a typical year.

Breakdown: From 2010-2016 (inclusive) an average of 2,692 people died each year in Australia by suicide (11.6 deaths per 100,000).1  2,866 peopledied by suicide in Australia in 2016 (11.8 per 100,000 deaths3).

Message: Around eight people die each day in Australia by suicide.

Breakdown: 2,866 people died by suicide in Australia in 2016, which is the equivalent of 7.85 people each day.

Message: Men are at least three times more likely to die by suicide than women.

Breakdown: In the period 2010-2016, males were three times more likely to die by suicide than females. In 2016, 2,151 (75%) people who died by suicide were male and 715 (25%) were female.5

Message: The latest evidence indicates that the Northern Territory has the highest suicide rate of any Australian state or territory in 2016 by a significant margin, followed by Tasmania. ACT has the lowest.

Breakdown: The Northern Territory had a suicide rate of 19.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2016. This is followed by Tasmania with 17, Western Australia with a rate of 14.4, Queensland with 13.9, South Australia with 13.3, NSW with 10.3, Victoria with 9.9 and the ACT with 7.2.6

Message: Suicide kills more than twice as many people in Australia as the road toll each year.

Breakdown: 2,866 people died by suicide in Australia in 2016, compared to 1,295 who died in road crashes.7

Message: Suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44.

Breakdown: 403 Australians (12.5 per 100,000) aged 15 to 24 died by suicide in 2016, making it the biggest killer in this age group.

573 Australians aged 25-34 (15.9 per 100,000) died by suicide in 2016, making it the biggest killer in this age group.

549 Australians aged 35-44 (17 per 100,000) died by suicide in 2016, making it the biggest killer in this age group.8

Message: The highest suicide rate among men is in the age group 85 and over. For females it is women aged 45 to 49.

Breakdown: In 2016, the suicide rage in men aged 85 and over was 40 deaths per 100,000, a rate higher than any other age category. This category of men has recorded the highest rate of suicide in every one of the last 10 years except for two (2008 and 2010).9

For women in 2016, those aged 50 to 54 recorded the highest rate, with 10.4 per 100,000. This was followed by those aged 40 to 44, with 8.5 per 100,000.10

Note: while these age groups record the highest rates of suicide, they are not necessarily the leading cause of death in these age groups. In addition, while the total number of men aged 85 and over who took their life in 2015 was lower than other ages (68) as a proportion of the total population in that age group it is the highest.

Message: Indigenous Australians are twice as likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous Australians.

Breakdown: Indigenous Australians were two times more likely to die by suicide than non-indigenous Australians in 2016, with a rate of 23.8 per 100,000 Indigenous Australians dying by suicide that year compared to 11.4 per 100,000 non-Indigenous people.11

(Note this figure relates to NSW, Qld, WA, SA and NT only)

Message: Australia’s official suicide rate has not changed significantly over the past 10 years but has been slightly higher in recent years than it was at the start of the decade. It is unclear whether this is because more people are taking their own life or because data has become more reliable.

Breakdown: Australia’s suicide rate was 10.4 per 100,000 deaths in 2005, 10.4 in 2006, 10.7 in 2007, 11.0 in 2008, 10.8 in 2009, 11.3 in 2010, 10.7 in 2011, 11.4 in 2012, 11.1 in 2013, 12.2 in 2014, 12.7 in 2015 and 11.8 in 2016.12

However, the ABS has said that better data reporting and other changes such as administrative changes that it has introduced in recent years may have impacted on the dataset.13

Message: Remoteness is a major risk factor contributing to suicide and the likelihood that someone will die by suicide appears to increase the further away from a city they live.

Breakdown: Data from 2001-02 to 2010-11 shows that, out of five zones of residence, residents of Major cities had the lowest rate of suicide deaths per 100,000 people while residents of the Very remote zone had the highest rate every year.14

For example, in 2010-11, residents of Major cities had a suicide rate of 9.4 per 100,000 people and residents of the Very remote zone had a rate of 18.1 15. Further, from 2001-02 to 2010-11, residents in Inner regional areas generally had the second lowest rate, residents in Outer regional areas generally had the third lowest and residents in Remote areas generally had the fourth lowest.16

Message: There are an estimated 75,000 suicide attempts each year or over 205 each day in Australia.

Breakdown: There were around 65,000 suicide attempts in Australia in 2007.17 With population growth, that figure would likely equate to about 75,000 or 205 a day.^

Message: Most people who experience depression or anxiety do not experience suicidality.

Breakdown: In a typical year, only 17.4% of people who have experienced an affective* disorder that year experience any suicidality18. Similarly, only 9.1% of people who have experienced an anxiety** disorder that year experience any suicidality. However mental health conditions are a significant risk factor for suicidality and the rate of suicidality increases with the number of mental health conditions a person has.19

^ This figure has been calculated by extrapolating the Australian 16-85 year-old population from 2001.0 ABS 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 2017 (this was the most reliable data in November 2017). The population figure, which is 18,550,429 (approx. 15.83% higher than 2007), has then been multiplied by the number in The Mental Health of Australians 2: Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing.

* An affective disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: depressive episode, dysthymia and bipolar affective disorder.

** An anxiety disorder is defined by the ABS in this research as one or more of the following: panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

References

1. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1 and Table 11.2

2. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1

3. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.2

4. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1

5. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.1

6. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.7

7. Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (2017) Road Trauma Australia 2016 statistical summary.

8. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Underlying causes of death (Australia) Table 1.3 and Tables 11.1 and 11.2

9. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.2

10. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.2

11. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Deaths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians Table 12.1

12. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). Preliminary data. Suicide (Australia). Table 11.2

13. 3303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2016 (2017). ). Explanatory Notes 87-93

14. AIHW: Harrison JE & Henley G 2014. Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis. Injury research and statistics series no. 93. Cat. no. INJCAT 169. Canberra: AIHW. p 49

15. AIHW: Harrison JE & Henley G 2014. Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis. Injury research and statistics series no. 93. Cat. no. INJCAT 169. Canberra: AIHW. p 6

16. AIHW: Harrison JE & Henley G 2014. Suicide and hospitalised self-harm in Australia: trends and analysis. Injury research and statistics series no. 93. Cat. no. INJCAT 169. Canberra: AIHW. p 49

17. Slade, T., Johnston, A., Teesson, M., Whiteford, H., Burgess, P., Pirkis, J., Saw, S. (2009).The Mental Health of Australians 2. Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra p 41

18. Slade, T., Johnston, A., Teesson, M., Whiteford, H., Burgess, P., Pirkis, J., Saw, S. (2009) The Mental Health of Australians 2. Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra p 44

19. Slade, T., Johnston, A., Teesson, M., Whiteford, H., Burgess, P., Pirkis, J., Saw, S. (2009) The Mental Health of Australians 2. Report on the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra p 44

Women

Message: More women than men experience high or very high levels of psychological distress.

In 2014-15, more women than men experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress (13.5% and 9.9% respectively). Women aged 18-24 years had the highest rate of psychological distress of any age group or sex in 2014-15.1

Message: One in eight women report experiencing an anxiety-related condition.

In 2014-15, around one in eight females (13.0%) reported having an anxiety-related condition.2

Message: Women report higher rates of depression or feelings of depression than men.3

Message: The number of suicides by young women aged 14-25 years now exceeds that of young men.

The increasing trend of suicide is particularly evident for young women, with the number of suicides within this age group now exceeding that of young men.4

References

1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). National Health Survey First Results – Australia 2014-15. Canberra: ABS.

2.  Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). National Health Survey First Results – Australia 2014-15. Canberra: ABS.

3. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). National Health Survey First Results – Australia 2014-15. Canberra: ABS.

4.Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2015). Causes of Death, Australia, 2014. Catalogue No. 3303.0.Canberra: ABS. Accessed 2 March 2015 from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3303.0?OpenDocument

Workplace

Message: Ninety-one per cent of employees believe mental health in the workplace is important. However, only 52 percent of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.

Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 1,041 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and found that although 91 percent of employees believe mental health in the workplace is important (88% believe physical safety is important). However, only 52 percent of employees believe their workplace is mentally healthy.1

Message: Businesses receive an average return on investment of $2.30 for every $1 they invest in effective workplace mental health strategies, making investing in mental health a win-win situation for employers and employees.

Breakdown: A 2014 PwC report found that for every $1 employers spend on successfully implementing effective actions around mental health in the workplace, they gain an average of $2.30 in benefits. These benefits are through improved productivity, via reduced absenteeism and presenteeism, and fewer compensation claims.2

Message: Almost fifty per cent of employees have left a workplace due to a poor mental health environment, while 60% of employees working in a mentally healthy workplace were more committed to their job.

Breakdown: A study undertaken by Instinct and Reason of 1,025 employees found that almost half those surveyed (45%) have left a workplace because it had a poor environment in terms of mental health. Conversely, the study found that a mentally healthy workplace makes an employee more committed to their job (60% of those currently in such a workplace) and less likely to seek other employment (68%).3

Message: Seventy-one percent organisational leaders believe leaders are committed to promoting the mental health of staff, but only 37 per cent of employees believe that this is the case.

Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 85 senior leaders and 1,041 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and found that 71 per cent organisational leaders believe leaders are committed to promoting the mental health of staff, but only 37 per cent of employees believe that organisational leaders are committed to promoting the mental health of staff.4

Message: Eighty one per cent of organisational leaders indicate their workplace has mental health support for their employees, but more than one third (35%) of employees don’t know they exist or have access to them.

Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 1,126 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and senior leaders (CEO/Managing Directors or HR Managers) and found that 81% of organisational leaders indicated that their workplace has one or more policies, procedures or practices to support mental health, but many (35%) employees don’t know these resources exist or don’t have access to them.5

Message:  One in five Australians (21%) have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy.

Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 1,041 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and found one in five Australians (21%) have taken time off work in the past 12 months because they felt stressed, anxious, depressed or mentally unhealthy. This statistic is more than twice as high (46%) among those who consider their workplace mentally unhealthy.6

Message: Thirty-five percent of employees state they would not want anyone to know about their experience of depression or anxiety.

Breakdown: The State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia report surveyed 1,041 employees (a mix of lower management and other employees) and found a reluctance among employees general to disclose their experience of depression or anxiety to employers. Thirty-five per of employees state they would not want anyone to know.7

Message: About one in 10 Australian workers has been bullied in the last six months.

Breakdown: A 2016 Safe Work Australia report found that 9.7% of respondents had experienced bulling in the last six months.8

Message:  The median workers’ compensation payment for mental health-related claims was $24,500 compared to $9,200 across all claim types between the 2008 and 2015 financial years.9

Breakdown: Safe Work Australia statistics show the median workers’ compensation payment for mental health-related claims was $23,600 compared to $8,700 across all claim types over the five years between 2008-09 and 2012-13. The figures also show that mental health-related claims resulted in 14.8 weeks off work, compared with 5.3 weeks for all claim types.

References

1. TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report---tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8

 2. PwC (2014) Creating a mentally healthy workplace. Return on investment analysis p iv. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/beyondblue_workplaceroi_finalreport_may-2014.pdf

3. Instinct and Reason (2014). Employer of Choice Study. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/instinct_and_reason_employer_of_choice.pdf?sfvrsn=4

4. TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report---tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8

5.TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report---tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8               

6. TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report---tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8

7. TNS (2014). State of Workplace Mental Health in Australia. From https://www.headsup.org.au/docs/default-source/resources/bl1270-report---tns-the-state-of-mental-health-in-australian-workplaces-hr.pdf?sfvrsn=8

8. Dollard, Prof Maureen et al (2015) The Australian Workplace Barometer: Report on psychosocial safety climate and worker health in Australia  (Safe Work Australia) p. 60. From https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1705/bullying-and-harassment-in-australian-workplaces-australian-workplace-barometer-results.pdf

9. Safe Work Australia (2015). From https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/work-related-mental-disorders-profile.pdf

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