• 24 Apr 2017

    BY DR A PARKIN

    POSTED IN News

    WITH 0 Comments

    Nearly 1 in 4 teens have a serious mental illness

    Nearly 1 in 4 teens have a serious mental illness

    Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute have collaborated on research in to the mental health of young people aged 15-19 years. Each year, thousands participate in a survey that enquires about psychological distress (using standardised questionnaires) and how young people would seek help. They have recently published the findings from data collected over the five-year period 2012-2016. 

    The main findings from this are:
     
    • In 2016, just under one in four young people met criteria for having a probable serious mental illness
    • There has been a significant increase in the proportion of young people meeting these criteria over the past five years (rising from 18.7% in 2012 to 22.8% in 2016)
    • The likelihood of probable serious mental illness increases with age. In 2016, the proportion of 15-year-olds with a probable serious mental illness was 20.8%, increasing to 27.4% among 18/19-year-olds
    • Probable serious mental illness is higher in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents (over three in ten, 31.6% in 2016) than non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander respondents (22.2%). There was a consistently significant difference across the five-year period. 
    • In 2016, the top three issues of personal concern for young people with a probable serious mental illness were coping with stress, school or study problems and depression
    • Across the five-year period, females were around twice as likely as males to meet the criteria for having a probable serious mental illness. While the proportions of both males and females meeting the criteria for a probable serious mental illness have risen between 2012 and 2016, the increase has been much more marked among females (from 22.5% in 2012 to 28.6% in 2016, compared to a rise from 12.7% to 14.1% for males)
    • Across the five year period, young people with a probable serious mental were more likely to be ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about each of the 12 issues asked about; particularly depression, coping with stress, body image and school or study problems.
    • Young people with a probable serious mental illness have consistently reported that the top three sources they would go to for help with important issues in their lives are friends, parents and the internet.
    You can download the report here.

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