Stats and facts

  • Around one in 35 young Australians aged 4-17 experience a depressive disorder. 
    Breakdown: 2.8% of Australians aged 4-17 have experienced an affective disorder.* This is equivalent to 112,000 young people.1
  • One in seven young Australians experience a mental health condition.
    Breakdown: 13.9% children and adolescents aged 4-17 years experienced a mental disorder between 2013-14, which is equivalent to an estimated 560,000 Australian children and adolescents.2

  • One in fourteen young Australians (6.9%) aged 4-17 experienced an anxiety disorder in 2015. This is equivalent to approximately 278,000 young people.
    Breakdown: 6.9% of Australians aged 4-17 experienced an anxiety** disorder in 2015.This is equivalent to 278,000 young people.
  • The number of deaths by suicide in young Australians is the highest it has been in 10 years 
    Breakdown: In 2015, 391 (12.5 per 100,000) young Australians aged 15-24 died by suicide compared with 290 (10.4 per 100,000) young Australians in 2005.4
  • Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people than car accidents
    Breakdown: 324 Australians (10.5 per 100,000) aged 15-24 dying by suicide in 2012. This compares to 198 (6.4 per 100,000) who died in car accidents (the second highest killer).5
  • Evidence suggests three in four adult mental health conditions emerge by age 24 and half by age 14
    Breakdown: Half of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders start by age 14 years and three fourths by age 24 years.6
  • People experiencing mental health conditions generally report more experiences of being treated positively than of being avoided or discriminated against, particularly from friends, loved ones and family members.7

  • Racism has can have really negative effects on young people’s health, education and social life and these effects can be carried for many years into adulthood.8

  • Around one in three young Australian adults aged 18-24 years report experiencing racial discrimination because of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religion.9

  • Around one in four Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people aged 15–24 years report experiencing discrimination because they were of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.10

  • Approximately one in four people with type 2 diabetes experience depression and one in six with type 2 diabetes experience anxiety.11

  • Approximately one in four young people aged 13-19 years with Type 1 Diabetes experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.12

* 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.

1The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Available from: www.health.gov.au

2The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Available from: www.health.gov.au

33303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2014 (2016). Underlying causes of death (Australia) Tables 11.1 and 11.3

43303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2014 (2016). Underlying causes of death (Australia) Tables 11.1 and 11.3

53303.0 ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2012 (2014). Underlying causes of death (Australia) Table 1.3

6Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR & Walters EE (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

7Nicola J ReavleyAnthony F Jorm. 2015. Experiences of discrimination and positive treatment in people with mental health problems: Findings from an Australian national survey. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 49(10) 906–913. Available from: http://journals.sagepub.com

8Priest, N., Y. Paradies, et al. (2013). “A systematic review of studies examining the relationship between reported racism and health and wellbeing for children and young people.” Social Science & Medicine 95(115-127)

9Markus. A. 2016. Mapping Social Cohesion 2016: National Report. Victoria: Scanlon Foundation. Available from: http://scanlonfoundation.org.au

10Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2012. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing: A focus on children and youth, Apr 2011. Available from:http://www.abs.gov.au

11Speight J, Browne JL, Holmes-Truscott E, Hendrieckx C, Pouwer F, on behalf of the Diabetes MILES – Australia reference group (2011). Diabetes MILES – Australia 2011 Survey Report. Melbourne: Diabetes Australia

12Speight J, Hagger V, Trawley S, Hendrieckx C, Browne JL, Cheney J, Pouwer F, Cameron F, Skinner TC, Scibilia R on behalf of the Diabetes MILES Youth reference group (2015). Diabetes MILES Youth Study 2014 Survey Report. Diabetes Victoria, Melbourne