Mental illness stats revealed in a new report that shows the number of people who are diagnosed with mental health conditions and how they are treated are rising in Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the report today to coincide with Mental Health Month.
“The prevalence of mental health disorders has risen steadily since the early 2000s,” said Associate Professor David Tapp, of the School of Population and Society at Monash University.
“We have more people who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder and are receiving support services than ever before.”
A report published in July this year found more than one in five people in Australia have a mental illness.
Professor Tapp said the data revealed that there were a range of different ways people were being diagnosed with conditions.
“There are a lot of different factors that go into diagnosing and treating mental health,” he said.
“It’s really important to recognise that not every mental health diagnosis is caused by mental illness.”
The data also showed that people with a history of mental illness had an increased risk of developing psychosis and developing depression.
“One of the most striking differences between people with and without mental health concerns is the prevalence of psychotic symptoms,” Professor Tapp explained.
“For people with mental illness symptoms, about two thirds of people report that they are having delusions or hallucinations at some time in their lives.”
He said it was important to understand the relationship between mental health and mental illness and that it was often difficult to distinguish between the two.
“A person with a high psychotic risk may have a history, for example, of having a mental disorder, but it may also be the case that they’ve also had a history with a psychotic disorder,” Professor Capp said.
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