A joint report from Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute has revealed that nearly 1 in 4 Australian teenagers meet the criteria for a “probable serious mental illness”, with over-representation in females and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. The proportion of affected adolescents have also significantly rose from 18.7% in 2012 to 22.8% in 2016.
This news is especially alarming as the effects of mental illness at that age can have debilitating effects to the individual’s life in both the short and long term. Adolescence is a time of great change, therefore making support particularly crucial.
For a long time, mental health has been something kept behind closed doors. However, with the increase in the amount of affected teenagers, it needs to be discussed more openly. The report also made a number of recommendations about how to provide better support and resources to educate young people about mental health.