A person’s mental health affects how they feel, think, behave and relate to others. Mental illness covers a spectrum of disorders that vary in how severe they are and how long they last. Find out what we’re doing to improve mental health services and prevent mental illness in Australia.
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Mental health in Australia
Almost half of all Australians aged 16 to 85 years — 7.3 million people — will experience mental illness at some point in their life. The most common conditions are:
- affective disorders, especially depression
- substance use disorders, especially alcohol use
One quarter of Australians aged 16 to 85 years — 4.2 million people — will experience an anxiety condition during their lifetime. Women are more likely than men to experience depression and anxiety.
These conditions can be serious but help is available.
What we’re doing about mental health
We are working to develop a better mental health system that improves the lives of people with, or at risk of, mental illness. We do this in many ways, including:
- developing policies and plans to guide government action on mental health issues
- funding initiatives, programs and services that help people experiencing mental illness
- reviewing programs and services, and consulting relevant stakeholders when deciding how to improve them
- funding research into mental health issues to develop new approaches to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery
- funding work to prevent suicide
- funding preventive health initiatives that focus on mental health