One in five young Australians met the criteria for ‘probable serious mental illness’ with over 60% reporting they would be uncomfortable seeking professional help – that’s according to Australia’s Youth Mental Health Report.

In 2013 Mission Australia together with the Black Dog Institute surveyed 14,461 young people aged 15-19 years throughout Australia. The national survey is the largest of its kind, providing valuable insights into the issues and concerns affecting young people, and the mental health of adolescents in Australia today.

Key findings include;

  • 21% of young people surveyed were experiencing a probable mental illness
  • Females were almost twice as likely as males to be experiencing mental illness
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander respondents were also more likely to be experiencing mental illness – at 32% compared to 21% for non-Aboriginal
  • Over 60% of young people with a mental illness were not comfortable seeking information, advice or support from community agencies, online counselling and/or telephone hotlines.
  • Young people experiencing mental distress were also more likely to be personally concerned about bullying/emotional abuse and family conflict, and were struggling with a higher number of concerns than young people who were not likely to be experiencing a mental health issue.

(Mission Australia’s Youth Survey, 2014)

We know that young people experiencing serious mental health issues are overrepresented in AOD treatment services. 35% of participants in the Youth AOD census (2014) reported a current mental health diagnosis and 43% reporting having attempted suicide or self-injured. Youth AOD works are in a unique position to engage young people around their mental health issues and support them to access specialist mental health services. Refresh your duel diagnosis skills and read about the latest best practice when working with young people experiencing self injury, suicidality