Mental Health Overview
Mental health is a term used to describe an individual's emotional or cognitive wellbeing and functioning, and also covers the absence or presence of mental disorders. The National Health Priority Areas Report on Mental Health defined mental health as 'the capacity of individuals and groups to interact with one another and the environment, in ways that promote subjective wellbeing, optimal development and the use of cognitive, affective and relational abilities'.
Mental health is affected by a wide range of physical, social and environmental factors. Mental illnesses can interfere with an individual's capacity to function in society and carry on with daily activities, as well as their social, creative and emotional functioning.
Mental health statistics are collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics :
- In 2004-05, 11% of all Australians reported they currently have a long-term mental or behavioural problem
- In the 1997 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing of Adults, which is based on diagnostic criteria rather than self report, almost one in five adults (18%) had a mental disorder at some time during the twelve months prior to the survey
- Adults who lived in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas experienced a higher prevalence of mental or behavioural problems (16%) compared with people who lived in the least socioeconomically disadvantage areas (9%)
- Adults aged 18 years and over living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged areas were also more likely to report a high/very high level of psychological distress (20%) compared with those living in the least socioeconomically disadvantaged areas (8.0%)
Mental health disorders are associated with increased exposure to a range of health risk factors which can negatively affect physical health. These include:
- tobacco smoking
- alcohol consumption
- physical inactivity
Dual Diagnosis is the condition of simultaneously being affected by a mental illness and a substance addiction.
All pages contained within "Mental Health"
There are 5 pages contained within this category.
- Mental Illness and Suicide: A Mindframe resource for stage and screen
- Mental illness and social exclusion