Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study
The Australian Government is investing in a multi-year Intergenerational Health and Mental Health Study (IHMHS). The IHMHS will provide the most complete picture ever collected of Australia's physical and mental health.
About the IHMHS
The IHMHS will include 4 national studies:
- National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing
- National Health Study – including the National Health Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey
- National Nutrition and Physical Activity Study – including the National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey
- National Health Measures Study – including the National Health Measures Survey and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Measures Survey.
Why it is important
The study is an investment in research that will address the contributors to chronic disease and provide the best opportunity for Australia to be the healthiest nation it has ever been.
The study will be an important source of public health data for the Australian population. Data collected will expand on information provided by previous national health surveys. This will enable the government to monitor changes in health conditions and behaviours over time.
The rich datasets created will help governments and stakeholders:
- understand how Australians manage their mental and physical health, including how they access services
- identify and prioritise health challenges
- develop policies
- allocate resources
- monitor health trends.
Meeting our goals
Information will be collected on the mental and general health status of Australians, covering:
- diagnosed and undiagnosed disease
- prevalence and impact of mental health conditions
- health risk factors and preventive health behaviours
- food and nutrient intake
- physical activity
- biomedical measures (chronic disease, nutrition and environment)
- health service usage for mental and general health.
The study will include a representative sample of up to 60,000 Australians from urban, rural and remote areas, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Who we work with
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will complete the study under the Census and Statistics Act 1905. All data will be protected by the strong privacy provisions of the Act. We are working with the ABS and other experts to ensure the highest quality study design.
The first part of the study will be the National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, with data collection expected to begin in December 2020. The remaining national studies will begin after the 2021 Australian Census.